We want to hear your views on the current sentencing reduction scheme.

What is being decided?

As part of changes to sentencing laws in 2013, a scheme was introduced where offenders would receive a reduction of their sentence for cooperating with authorities or if they were to plead guilty at an early stage in proceedings.

Prior to these changes, offenders were able to receive a reduction on their sentence for pleading guilty early, but the amount of the reduction was up to the discretion of the sentencing court. This meant that in many cases there was less transparency about specific reductions that had been applied.

The intent of this scheme is to create transparency and encourage early guilty pleas that would save victims, witnesses and their families the difficult process of returning to court on numerous occasions and having to relive the trauma of the incident by giving evidence in court.

In 2015, former Supreme Court Judge the Hon Brian Martin AO QC undertook an inquiry into the operation of the scheme and in March 2018 the scheme was amended.

In September 2018, Mr Martin was appointed by the Attorney-General to undertake an inquiry into the current scheme. Mr Martin has been asked to consider a number of issues including:

• whether or not the current scheme strikes the appropriate balance between the benefit to the community of an early guilty plea by a defendant, and the need to ensure that a defendant is adequately punished for the offending behaviour and held accountable to the community for the offending behaviour

• whether the current scheme has improved the operation and effectiveness of the South Australian criminal justice system, and provided transparency in respect of sentences given to offenders.

Community and expert feedback is therefore being sought to inform Mr Martin’s inquiry.

Get involved

Read the current legislation in relation to the Sentencing Discount Scheme (Part 2, Division 2, Subdivision 4 of the Sentencing Act 2017).

You can provide input by emailing sentencingreductionsreview@sa.gov.au.

How will your input be used to influence the decision?

Your input will be used to inform Mr Martin's recommendations to the State Government of South Australia.

Contact details

​For general enquiries, email sentencingreductionsreview@sa.gov.au.

Closing date: Friday 23 November 2018.

Important information about the confidentiality of your submission

You have the option of making a confidential submission. If you do not want the public to read your answers, please write “confidential” on your submission. Please be aware that unless you write “confidential” on your submission it may be made public.

If someone asks for your answers through the Freedom of Information Act process, and if you have told us your answers are confidential, we will contact you and explain what is happening.
However, we have to follow the law. Even if your answers are confidential, we may still have to let someone read your confidential answers, if they ask for them through the Freedom of Information Act process.