Intensive Correctional Order (ICO)

An ICO is considered as a form of imprisonment but it does not involve immediate imprisonment, though there are restrictions on the offender's freedom.

An ICO is served in the community under the supervision of Corrective Services NSW.

  • There are conditions that all ICOs put in place, these include:
  • The offender is to be of good behaviour and not commit any offence;
  • The offender is to reside only at a place approved by a supervisor;
  • The offender is to submit drug and alcohol testing;
  • The offender must undertake at least 32 hours of community service work per month, as    directed by the supervisor;
  • The offender is to engage in activities to address the factors associated with their   offending as identified in the assessment;
  • The offender is to submit to a medical examination by a specified medical practitioner in    relation to the offender's capacity to undertake community service work.

However, the court can also impose any other conditions they deem to be necessary. As an ICO is considered a form of imprisonment the court must be satisfied that, having considered the alternative penalties available, that nothing other than a sentence of imprisonment would be suitable for the offender and that the sentence to be imposed is likely to be for no more than 2 years.

There are some circumstances where an ICO will not be available as a form of punishment. This includes where the offender has committed certain sexual offences. Further, an offender must be first deemed suitable for completion of an ICO before the court can order such a punishment. Prior to being sentenced to an ICO the offender must under go an assessment and be deemed suitable for an ICO.

Sentences of imprisonment of less than 2 years can be served by way of an ICO. Where an offender breaches their ICO, this will be dealt with by Corrective Services rather than the courts. The Commissioner of Corrective Services can impose a formal warning, sanctions in the form of more stringent conditions of the ICO or refer the matter to the Parole Authority. The Parole Authority can impose home detention on the offender or even revoke the ICO, leaving the offender to serve the rest of their sentence in gaol.