Probation is a community-based order that courts may use as an alternative to, or along with, a prison sentence. A probation order allows you to address your offending and individual needs through case management and supervision with the Probation and Parole Service (PPS).
You may be sentenced to probation for a period of 6 months to 3 years, depending on the sentencing Magistrate or Judge’s decision.
If you are sentenced to a probation order, you will need to follow certain conditions, including:
- not committing another offence
- reporting to a PPS district office as directed
- participating in programs or counselling
- getting permission before leaving the state
- telling a correctional officer if you change your address or employment status.
A Magistrate or Judge may add additional conditions to your probation order to ensure your supervision meets your individual needs—at times this may require more intensive support.
You may also be subject to a Commonwealth recognisance order, meaning you may need to follow additional conditions. We may supervise your Commonwealth recognisance order in the state where you live.
What is involved in probation
When you are released on probation, you must report regularly to a PPS officer who will assist you through rehabilitation. We will work with you to ensure support is available throughout the probation order period. This includes referring you to external services and community organisations to address any needs we identify.
We may take formal action to return the probation order to court if you:
- don’t follow the conditions of the probation order
- don’t accept assistance to address your behaviour.
This may involve re-sentencing, where the Magistrate or Judge will decide whether you can continue with community-based supervision.
If you are subject to a Commonwealth order, we have an obligation to notify the Federal Attorney-General’s unit when you breach the order conditions. This will allow them to decide whether they will prosecute the matter before court.
Who is suitable for probation
You may be suitable for a probation order if the court believes that a period of supervision will help you to address identified needs in a supported environment through a structured case management plan. This decision is dependent on the PPS’s assessment.
A probation order allows the court to sentence you in a way that ensures you can be treated for problems such as drug addiction and gambling.
The court will only impose a probation order if you agree to:
- the conditions that you may be subject to
- the time specified by the Magistrate or Judge.