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Periodic Detention (Weekend Detention)

What is Periodic Detention (Weekend Detention)?

Periodic detention (commonly known as weekend detention) is a form of imprisonment. It involves detention in a periodic detention centre for a two day period each week for the length of the sentence set by the court.

Although most people refer to periodic detention as weekend detention your detention in a detention centre can occur mid week. The two-day period commences at 7.00 pm on the day of the week specified (usually Friday) and ends at 4.30 pm on the second day following the day so specified (usually Sunday).

Before a court imposes a sentence of periodic detention it must satisfy itself that no other penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate. If the court does impose a sentence of periodic detention it is likely to set a period in which you may be released on parole.

A periodic detention order may not be made for longer than 3 years. If the court imposes 2 sentences of this type of detention then the combined period cannot exceed 3 years.

When a court cannot impose a sentence of periodic detention

An order for periodic detention may not be made where:

  • An offender has previously served full time imprisonment for more than six months, whether in New South Wales or elsewhere;
  • An offender is sentenced to imprisonment for more than three years;
  • A sentence of imprisonment has been imposed for a “prescribed sexual offence”;
  • A “prescribed sexual offence”.

Suitability of offender for periodic detention

A periodic detention order may not be made with respect to an offender’s sentence of imprisonment unless the court is satisfied:

  • that the offender is of or above the age of 18 years, and
  • that the offender is a suitable person to serve the sentence by way of periodic detention, and
  • that it is appropriate in all of the circumstances that the sentence be served by way of periodic detention, and
  • that there is accommodation available at a centre for the offender to serve the sentence by way of periodic detention, and
  • that transport arrangements are available for travel by the offender, to and from the centre, for the purpose of serving the sentence by way of periodic detention, being arrangements that will not impose undue inconvenience, strain or hardship on the offender, and
  • that the offender has signed an undertaking to comply with the offender’s obligations under the periodic detention order.

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