Adult community corrections

The Department of Justice, Corrective Services manages around 12,000 adult offenders at any one time. Between 5,000-5,500 of these offenders are completing their sentence in the community.

Adult offenders in the community are managed by Adult Community Corrections, which operates around 30 Community Corrections centres throughout the State.

These offenders are usually:

  • serving a community order
  • completing custodial sentences under community supervision, which is known as parole
  • on bail for an offence either waiting conviction or sentence.

Adult Community Corrections' staff contribute to community safety through effective and responsible adult offender management which focuses on reducing reoffending.

Bail is a written promise to appear in court on a particular date. Defendants may be given bail after being arrested and are waiting to go to court because of an offence. Bail may also be given if someone is found guilty of an offence and is waiting to be sentenced.

Bail is usually given to people who are not considered to be a risk if they stay in the community but they may need to follow rules or conditions.

These conditions may include:

  • not committing any further offences
  • meeting regularly with community corrections officers
  • allowing community corrections officers to come into their house or workplace
  • following the directions from community corrections officers
  • going to treatment programs, such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation or domestic violence programs
  • being banned from doing certain things, such as drinking alcohol and taking drugs
  • having urine tests
  • being at home and monitored by electronic equipment (Home Detention Bail).

What happens on bail?

A person who is on bail may stay in the community as long as they follow the rules or conditions which have been set. They may be able to live at their usual house and work in the same job.

If a person has been convicted of a crime but is not considered to be a risk to the community, they might stay on bail while the Department of Justice prepares a Pre Sentence Report for the court. This report contains information on any crimes the person has committed in the past and their links to the community, including their job, their family and where they live. The court can then decide what penalty is most suitable.

If a person is charged with a domestic violence offence, or for actions caused by substance abuse, they may be bailed to appear in a specialist court. These special courts make sure defendants go into treatment programs before they are sentenced. In many cases, if the defendant does everything needed to complete the program, they may get a lesser sentence. The defendant will be closely managed by a community corrections officer while they are enrolled in the treatment program.

Breach of bail conditions

If the defendant does not follow the rules of their bail, it could be cancelled and they may have to go back to court. The court may grant bail again or they may have to stay in Prison until their court matters are finalised.

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Parole is the conditional release of an offender from prison to allow them to serve the remainder of their prison sentence in the community, provided they follow certain conditions. Parole does not free an offender from their sentence.

Offenders who are on parole continue to serve their sentence in the community where they can further their own rehabilitation, restore their relationships and adjust to life back in the community.

An offender on parole is usually supervised in the community by a Community Corrections Officer. A Community Corrections Officer works with an offender to ensure they meet the conditions of their parole whilst aiming to enhance public safety, reduce the likelihood an offender will commit another offence and encourage them to reconnect with their community. If an offender breaches the conditions of their parole, they could be sent back to prison.

Whether or not an offender is eligible for parole is determined by the court when an offender is sentenced. The Prisoners Review Board is then responsible for making the decision on whether an eligible offender is actually granted parole.

More parole information

Community Orders

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Most people found guilty of a crime are given a community-based sentence or put on probation, rather than being sent to prison.

Being on a community order gives an offender the chance to stop their criminal behaviour and gain access to programs and interventions which will help with their education, employment and personal development.

The benefits of people serving their sentences in the community include:

  • staying in the same job, which decreases the chance of re-offending
  • staying in the same house
  • reducing disruption to family life, including the lives of children
  • reducing the negative influence of other offenders, which can happen in prison
  • decreasing the cost to taxpayers - it costs much less per day to manage someone in the community than in prison.

Types of community orders

If a person is found guilty of a crime, there are a range of non-custodial options available.

These include:

  • Pre-sentence Order
  • Community-based Orders
  • Intensive Supervision Order
  • Conditional Suspended Imprisonment Order

Requirements of community orders

Community orders are typically made up of three parts.

These include:

  • Supervision - the offender must meet regularly with their community corrections officer. This makes sure the person is staying away from criminal behaviour and is completing other parts of their sentence.
  • Program/Intervention - the offender may complete a program or intervention to deal with their criminal behaviour. Programs can include treatment for substance abuse, behavioural issues such as anger and violence, or provide education and training opportunities to increase an offender's chance of getting a job.
  • Community work - the offender may be required to do unpaid work for a set number of hours that benefits the community. This gives the offender a chance to repay the community for their crimes and may also increase their chances of getting a job. The Community work program in Western Australia is referred to as Repay WA.

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Repay WA - Rehabilitation

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Repay WA is a community work program that operates throughout Western Australia and can be ordered by the Courts or by the Fines Enforcement Registry.

Repay WA allows offenders to repay their debt to society and increase their work and life skills by making an unpaid community work contribution to important non-for-profit projects in the community.

 Over the years, offenders have performed thousands of hours of unpaid community work on a substantial number of community work projects. At any one time, there are about 400 community work projects operating from Kununurra to Albany, saving WA taxpayers significant financial costs and supporting the operations of the not for profit community. ..

Offenders have to be assessed as suitable to take part in Repay WA work. There is more information about eligibility on Community Orders (PDF 126 KB) fact sheet.

Repay WA relies on not-for-profit and community organisations to nominate work projects that provide meaningful work opportunities for offenders. Community work projects may include graffiti and vandalism clean-ups, landscaping, recycling or restoration projects amongst others.

To nominate a project, simply complete a Repay WA Application Form or visit the Business with us page.

Alternatively, you can send your request through to your local Community Corrections Centre (details on the website)

More information

Page reviewed 21 January 2021