What is an Intensive Corrections Order in NSW?

Intensive Corrections Order in NSW

An Intensive Corrections Order in NSW is a sentence of imprisonment served in the community. An ICO is less severe than full-time imprisonment. But a breach of its conditions is just as severe as full-time imprisonment.


An Intensive Correction Order has conditions attached to it, and if the Intensive Correction Order is withdrawn, you may be required to serve the remainder of the time in jail.


It is best to speak to your criminal defence lawyers if you are being sentenced. 

The Law - Intensive Correction Order

An intensive corrections order in NSW is governed by section 7(1), which provides that;


(1) A court that has sentenced an offender to imprisonment in respect of 1 or more offences may make an intensive correction order directing that the sentence or sentences be served by way of intensive correction in the community.


(2) If the Court makes an intensive correction order directing that a sentence of imprisonment be served by way of intensive correction in the community, the Court is not to set a non-parole period for the sentence.


(3) This section does not apply to an offender who is under the age of 18 years.


(4) This section is subject to the provisions of Part 5.


Accordingly, it applies only in circumstances if you are sentenced to up to two years of full-time imprisonment.

ICO is a custodial sentence

An ICO in NSW is a custodial sentence described in the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. As it is jail time, a court must go through three steps before ordering it to be served.


First, court must confirm no other penalty is suitable after considering all options. Second, if imprisonment is suitable, court determines duration without regard to how it will be served. Finally the Court must consider whether any alternative to full-time imprisonment should be imposed.


ICO conditions


If an ICO is imposed upon you, there are various conditions the Court can impose. They are;

  •         Standard conditions;
  •         Additional conditions;
  • Home detention condition;
  •         any further conditions imposed by the Court; and
  •         any conditions imposed by the Parole Authority.

Intensive Correction Order is not available for certain offences

There are restrictions on the types of offences where an ICO order cannot be made. Section 67(1) provides that an ICO must NOT be made in respect of a sentence of imprisonment for:


(a) Murder or manslaughter;

(b) a prescribed sexual offence;

(c) a terrorism offence within the meaning of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) or under s 310J Crimes Act 1900;

(d) an offence relating to a contravention of a serious crime prevention order under s 8 Crimes (Serious Crime Prevention Orders) Act 2016;

(e) an offence relating to a contravention of a public safety order under s 87ZA Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002;

(f) an offence involving the discharge of a firearm;

(g) an offence that includes the commission of, or an intention to commit, an offence referred to in paragraphs (a)–(f); and

(h) an offence of attempting, or of conspiracy or incitement, to commit an offence referred to in paragraphs (a)–(g).


In addition, an ICO order for a domestic violence conviction will not be made until the court is satisfied that the perpetrator of the assault conviction and any person with whom the perpetrator is likely to reside are properly covered.

What happens if you breach your ICO?

There are several options if you breach an intensive corrections order in NSW. For minor breaches, the following could occur;

  • Record the breach and take no action
  • Provide an informal warning to the offender
  • Provide a formal warning to the offender and advise them that any further breaches will be reported to the Parole Authority
  • Give a reasonable direction to the offender
  • Impose a curfew of up to 12 hours in any 24 hour period.

For major breaches, the following could occur;

  • Take no action and note the report
  • Stand the matter over – usually to follow court results or obtain updated information from Community Corrections
  • Impose a more stringent condition of the ICO – such as curfews or home detention for a short period and community service work
  • Revoke the ICO by issuing a warrant for the offender’s arrest and return to custody.

Alternative Sentence Options in NSW Court

Sentences in NSW is governed by the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. The general sentencing principles for the purposes of sentencing are set out in section 3A. It is as follows;


a)          To ensure that the offender is adequately punished for the offence;

b)          To prevent crime by deterring the offender and other persons from committing similar offences;

c)          To protect the community from the offender;

d)          To promote the rehabilitation of the offender;

e)          To denounce the conduct of the offender; and

f)           To recognise the harm done to the victim of the crime and the community.


There are numerous other factors taken into account by the Court when imposing sentence. 


For most non-complex sentences, we offer fixed fee services.


If you wish to obtain legal advice regarding a sentence, you should contact an experienced criminal defence lawyer at our firm on 0404 479096.


Below is an outline of the types of sentence options of the Court in New South Wales;


Section 10

1.          10(1)(a) – a court may find a person guilty of an offence, not record a conviction and order that the relevant charge be dismissed without penalty; or


2.          10(1)(c) – a court may find a person guilty of an offence, not record a conviction and order that the relevant charge be dismissed on the condition that the person enter into an agreement to participate in an intervention program and to comply with any intervention plan arising out of the program.


Section 10A


Section 10A refers to a section of the Crimes (Sentencing and Procedure) Act which allows a magistrate finds a person guilty of an offence, record a conviction and order that the relevant charge be dismissed without further penalty.




Certain offences are fine only offences; however other offences will likely carry a possible of a fine as well as other sentencing alternatives.


Conditional Release Order (CRO) (with or without a conviction)


Conditional Release Order can deal with first time and less serious offences where the offender is unlikely to present a risk to the community.


The benefit of CROs is that the court can impose conditions such as drug and alcohol abstention, programs, non-association requirements or place restrictions where appropriate. CROs can also have a supervision condition. Courts have discretion to impose a conviction on a CRO, if they consider it appropriate.


CROs can be imposed for a period of up to two years. If an Individual commits any further offences while on a CRO, subsequent penalties may be more severe.


Community Correction Order (CCO)


Community Correction Order is used by the Court for offenders for crimes that do not warrant imprisonment or an ICO, but are too serious to be dealt with by a fine or lower penalty.


The benefit of CCOs is that they are a flexible sentence that the court can tailor to reflect the nature of the offender and the offence. The court can select from the range of conditions, such as supervision by Community Corrections Officers, community service work (up to 500 hours) and curfews, to hold offenders to account and reduce their risk of reoffending. CCOs can be imposed for a period of up to three years.


Deferral of sentence for rehabilitation participation, intervention program or other purposes

The Court may, on application or on its own accord, adjourn any matter for a maximum of 12 months to assess an individual’s capacity for rehabilitation or to enable a rehabilitation or intervention program to occur.


Full Time Custodial Sentence


The court may impose a full-time custodial sentence.

Get Legal Advice Now

Consult with our team of criminal lawyers before going to court for the best expert advice on how to proceed, what the likely outcome will be, and any preparation you need to do beforehand. You will also receive a fixed fee quote on the cost for representation on the day, this includes all traffic offences. Our experienced criminal lawyers deal with various criminal law and legal matters in the high courts of New South Wales.

If the police have charged you or a loved one, you must attend court. Appearing in court for a criminal charge is usually daunting. Let us help you make the process easier. Here are 10 reasons to choose our team of criminal lawyers from Lyons Law Group;


Result-focused criminal lawyers 


Our team will work to achieve the best result for you in the shortest time possible. However, we do aim to provide quality over quantity service to you. Our criminal lawyers appear in all criminal and traffic matters, including trials, sentencing, bail applications, and apprehended violence orders. We are a result-focused firm of lawyers.

At Lyons Law, we do not make any unrealistic promises for results. You will be advised on the most realistic results achievable in your case, including acquittals of all charges against you. Nevertheless, you can be sure that our team will work extremely hard to achieve the best possible outcome for you.


Proven Track Record


Our experienced defence lawyers are passionate about representing their clients and achieving the best outcome. Lyons Law is a team of solicitors who are dedicated, and with our support staff, you can be confident of the highest quality of legal representation. We have an exceptional track record of results. We provide our outstanding client service at an affordable rate for our clients.


Fixed Fees


We always let our clients know how much their cases will cost from the beginning. This makes it easier for them to decide whether or not they want to proceed with the case. Not only do we offer fixed fees for many types of criminal cases and services, but also free first phone consultations. In addition, our firm offers fixed fees applicable to a wide range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, fraud, drug possession, assault, and AVOs.


Free First Conference


For all of those individuals who are going to court, we offer a free first 15-minute phone conference with one of our senior criminal defence lawyer. It is best you email our office all your relevant documents before a conference so criminal lawyers can provide the best advice within that time frame.


Highly experienced criminal defence lawyer


Lyons Law Group is a highly experienced team of criminal lawyers. Our team is led by Mohammad Khan, who is one of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney. He has represented clients in some of Australia’s most high-profile cases and was under the direct tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda.


Moreover, our team has worked and successfully represented clients on highly complex trials and sentences in NSW.


Work closely with Australia’s leading criminal law barrister


We work closely with some of Australia’s leading criminal law barristers. Barristers are usually instructed in more serious matters, and their experience and input can be invaluable to your case. The barristers we regularly instruct range from Queen’s counsels, Senior counsels and highly experienced junior-senior counsels.


Specialist for District and Supreme Court trials


Our team of sydney criminal lawyers have worked on numerous District and Supreme Court trials in NSW. We have worked on extremely complex criminal law trials that require impeccable preparation and understanding of the law.


Specialist for bail applications in NSW


Lyons Law Group is a highly experienced team of bail lawyers. We have regularly obtained bail for clients for extremely serious charges that carry life sentences. For types of charges, bail is usually denied by a Court.


In house Experts


Our criminal lawyers have in-house investigators with decades of law enforcement experience and assist our team with process service, background checks, integrity testing, investigations, surveillance, and bug detection.


For the preparation of jury trials and defended hearings, these services can be utilised on behalf of our client to achieve the best result.


Appearance at all Courts in NSW


From Broken Hill to Waverly, our criminal lawyers appear in all courts throughout New South Wales.


If you wish to contact us or book your first free 15-minute phone conference, contact us on 0404479096 or send us an email at info@lyonslaw.com.au.


  • Mohammad Khan | Criminal Defence Lawyer

    Mohammad Khan is the Principal Solicitor of Lyons Law Group. After graduating with a Bachelor of Aviation from the University of New South Wales, Mohammad took a keen interest in the law. He began training in criminal law under the tutelage of Australia’s leading criminal lawyer Adam Houda and studied law at the University of Sydney.