Swift, Certain and Fair Sentencing of family violence offenders
The CIJ has provided a submission to the Sentencing Advisory Council’s (SAC) review into Swift, Certain and Fair Sentencing of family violence offenders.
This review responds to the recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence that the Attorney-General refer the question of Swift, Certain and Fair (SCF) sentencing approaches to the SAC for consideration in the Victorian context.
SCF approaches can be understood or conceptualised in various ways. As the SAC has described these approaches in its Discussion Paper, the term ‘SCF’ applies to very specific compliance based court models used primarily in US jurisdictions to respond to drug and alcohol offending. Understandably, the SAC queries the capacity to transfer models that have been created for use in other jurisdictions to the Victorian criminal justice context, particularly to family violence offenders, rather than drug or alcohol offenders.
In its submission, however, the CIJ encouraged the SAC to work backwards in its consideration – starting first with a detailed examination of the nature and variation of family violence perpetration; the fluctuating nature of risk; and then consider the evidence which indicates that prompt, clear and consistent consequences are the most effective response that a justice system can deliver.