The views of the community will be sought on the adequacy of sentencing in Victoria, the Coalition Government announced this week.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, said the on-line survey, which will run for four weeks starting in July, will fulfil a key Coalition commitment to provide Victorians with the opportunity to have direct input into the future of sentencing in our state.
“There has been considerable discussion over recent years on sentencing, with many public comments that sentencing is not in line with community standards. This extensive survey will determine just what community standards are.
“Discussions about sentencing tend to be dominated by experts and interest groups, but this is a chance for all Victorians to have input,” Mr Bull said.
A key component of the survey will be seeking the community's views about what levels should be set for the new "baseline" minimum sentences which the government has committed to introduce for serious crimes.
The baseline minimum sentence for each offence will be the minimum non-parole period that Parliament expects the courts to apply to the typical, or median, case involving that offence.
Attorney General, Robert Clark, said the Coalition committed during last year's election to listen to community views about sentencing and this survey delivers on that commitment.
Open to all Victorians, the survey will seek feedback on all aspects of sentencing, from the most serious offences such as murder and rape through to sentences for offences like vandalism and criminal damage.
Views will be sought on the use of different kinds of sentences including community-based sentences and imprisonment, and what can be done to improve the effectiveness of those sentences.
“The Victorian Coalition Government believes it's time for the community to have an opportunity for their views to be heard about sentencing. The views people provide in this survey will help shape the way we, as a community, respond to criminal behaviour,” Mr Clark said.
“It is vital that Victorians should have confidence in our justice system. We want to hear the community's views about how sentencing should be improved and what appropriate sentence levels should be.”
The survey of Victorian community views on sentencing will also be available in hard copy. The results of the survey will be compiled and published once completed.