Criminal sanctions

Among others, there are four main criminal sanctions handed down to offenders in Victoria. Sanctions are handed down when a defendant has been found guilty of a crime.


Fines are the most common penalty imposed. A fine is a monetary sum that the offender must pay to police or the courts. The minimum amount to be paid for particular offences is usually outlined in an Act of parliament.

Community correction order

Community correction orders (CCOs) include a range of programs that allow the offender to be supervised within the community. CCOs can be imposed for up to two years. They include unpaid community work and educational programs. Conditions are attached to CCOs. For instance, the offender must not commit further offences while the order is in place, he or she must report to a community corrections officer, and sometimes is banned from leaving the state. This sanction is only imposed if the offender consents to it, and the court is satisfied that the defendant is suitable for the order.

Home detention

This sanction is an alternative to imprisonment, in which non-violent, low-risk offenders are confined to their home. The offender may leave home to attend employment or specific programs, but aside from this, his or her freedom is limited. Conditions are attached to home detention. For instance, offenders may be banned from consuming alcohol, they must inform any employer of the order, and may have to engage in counselling or treatment.


This sentence involves restricting the offender’s liberty by placing them in a prison for an amount of time determined by the severity of the crime committed.

See also:

Specific purposes of criminal sanctions

General purposes of criminal sanctions