The introduction of Community Correction Orders may (in some cases, at least) actually increase the likelihood of a future term of imprisonment.
Particularly where there are many offences dealt with together or the offences are serious, on a guilty plea many advocates will find themselves suggesting to the bench a ‘cocktail’ of a CCO and suspended sentence. It’s often submitted that this will offer a carrot in the form of rehabilitative programs administered by the CCS, and the stick of a suspended sentence if there is further offending. The submission offers a credible alternative to prison (now ICOs are no longer available), but it’s not without its risks.
What is sometimes overlooked is that a contravention of the CCO (whether by further offending or non-compliance) is itself an offence punishable by up to 3 months imprisonment. And where any offence punishable by imprisonment is committed, a contravention of a suspended sentence imposed at the same time naturally follows.
If the contravention is prompted by non-compliance with the CCO, exceptional circumstances will often be hard to find.