An ICO is a custodial sentence of up two years that the court decides can be served in the community. Community safety is the court's paramount consideration when making this decision.
The old ICO has been overhauled. Unlike suspended sentences, supervision is mandatory. Courts can add conditions to an ICO such as home detention, electronic monitoring, curfews, community service work (up to 750 hours), alcohol/drug bans, place restrictions, or non-association requirements. Offenders may also be required to participate in programs that target the causes of their behaviour.
Community Corrections Officers have clearer authority to deal with breaches of conditions in real time. For more serious breaches, offenders will continue to be referred to the State Parole Authority (SPA) and may be required to serve the remainder of their sentence in custody.
The ICO is the most serious sentence that an offender can serve in the community. ICOs are not be available for offenders who have been convicted of murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, any sexual offence against a child, offences involving discharge of a firearm, terrorism offences, breaches of serious crime prevention orders, or breaches of public safety orders.
A domestic violence offender can only be sentenced to an ICO if the court is satisfied that the victim or likely co-residents can be adequately protected. For example, a domestic violence offender is not eligible for an ICO with a home detention condition if they are intending to reside with the victim.