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Have YourSAy on sentencing discounts

6 October 2018

Members of the community are being encouraged to have their say in a review of the South Australia’s sentencing discount scheme, which allows offenders to get a reduced sentence in exchange for an early guilty plea.

The State Government has commissioned former Supreme Court judge the Hon Brian Martin AO QC to undertake a review of the initiative, following concern that the sentences imposed for serious offences are no longer in line with community expectations.

Attorney General Vickie Chapman said sentencing is a complex task, and there are many competing factors to consider.

“Early guilty pleas are important – they can save court resources for matters that genuinely need them,” Ms Chapman said.

“But, more importantly, they can help spare victims of serious crime and others the trauma of appearing in court to testify.

“This is why it’s so important we get the balance right, which is why it’s important to look at how our scheme operates to see whether it is serving the best interests of justice, and in line with what the community would expect.”

Ms Chapman said members of the public could email submissions directly.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in this subject to make a submission so it can be considered through this review process,” Ms Chapman said.

“Many people out in the public have very strong views about sentencing discounts and they deserved to be heard.”

Submissions can be emailed directly to SentencingReductionsReview [at] sa.gov.au before close of business, Friday November 23.

More information can be found at: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/decisions/sentencing-review