Community-Based Sentencing, Singapore

by | Apr 21, 2020 | Community Based Sentencing, Mitigation, Punishment, Representations

Community-based sentencing

The court can make community-based sentences as an alternative to a sentence of imprisonment, caning or fine. These community orders include:

  • Mandatory Treatment Order – An order for the offender to attend regular treatment sessions at the stipulated time and place given by his/her appointed psychiatrist and comply with other such conditions in connection with their treatment. The period of treatment can extend up to 3 years.
  • Day Reporting Order – An order for the offender to report to a day reporting officer at a designated day reporting centre to undergo monitoring, counselling and rehabilitation programmes. The offender may be further subject to electronic monitoring of his whereabouts based on the requirements of his day reporting officer. Day reporting orders can last from 3 to 12 months.
  • Community Work Order – An order for the offender to perform the number of hours of unpaid community work specified in that order in a satisfactory manner at a time and place as required by the community work officer.
  • Community Service Order – An order for the offender to perform the number of hours of unpaid community service specified in that order in a satisfactory manner at a time and place as required by the community service officer.
  • Short Detention Order – A short imprisonment term of up to 2 weeks, but the offender will not have a criminal record.

As published by The Straits Times, these community orders are opportunities given to non-habitual offenders to rehabilitate while remaining in the community. The court can also impose a suspended imprisonment sentence that will take effect upon any breach of the community-based sentence. This will encourage offenders to comply with the community-based sentence.

However, not all offenders qualify for community-based sentences. Some of the scenarios where the court would not consider community-based sentences are where:

  1. The Offender had previously been sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 3 months;
  2. The Offender had previously been sentenced to corrective training or preventive detention;
  3. The offender committed an offence:
    • for which the sentence is fixed by law;
    • for which there is a
    • specified minimum sentence of imprisonment or caning; or
    • mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment, fine or caning;
    • under the Third Schedule to the Registration of Criminals Act (Cap. 268); or
    • which is punishable with a term of imprisonment which exceeds 3 years.

For more information, please contact our criminal lawyer Ray Louis at 9090 8288.