18 October 2017

Transformational reforms of the NSW criminal justice system will enable faster, more certain justice, helping victims and strengthening protection of the community.

The tough and smart new laws passed Parliament today and will give courts better options to hold criminals to account and reduce reoffending. More of the state’s most dangerous sex and violent offenders will also become eligible for detention or close supervision at the end of their sentences.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said, “The laws will encourage offenders to enter earlier guilty pleas, allowing victims to get on with their lives and helping to reduce court backlogs. Large sentence discounts are also off the table for last minute guilty pleas, and courts will have better options to bring more offenders under supervision.”

Minister for Police Troy Grant said, “The early guilty plea reform will mean police spend less time preparing for hearings that don’t proceed. The focus on reducing reoffending will also lead to less crime. That means fewer victims and safer communities.”

Minister for Corrections David Elliott said, “Community safety will be the paramount consideration for the State Parole Authority when making parole decisions and Community Corrections will have clearer authority to manage parole breaches. Offenders guilty of murder or manslaughter can also be refused parole if they don’t disclose the location of their victim’s remains.”

$200 million is being invested in the reforms by the NSW Government and will include funding to recruit additional Community Corrections Officers to boost capacity to supervise offenders and reduce reoffending.

The government is grateful to the broad range of stakeholders with which it worked to develop these reforms. These stakeholders include victims’ advocacy groups, domestic violence experts, Aboriginal and law enforcement stakeholders, the judiciary and the legal profession.

The reforms will take effect from early to mid-2018.

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