Preventive detention

87 Sentence of preventive detention


The purpose of preventive detention is to protect the community from those who pose a significant and ongoing risk to the safety of its members.


This section applies if—


a person is convicted of a qualifying sexual or violent offence (as that term is defined in subsection (5)); and


the person was 18 years of age or over at the time of committing the offence; and


the court is satisfied that the person is likely to commit another qualifying sexual or violent offence if the person is released at the sentence expiry date (as specified in subpart 3 of Part 1 of the Parole Act 2002) of any sentence, other than a sentence under this section, that the court is able to impose.


The High Court may, on the application of the prosecutor or on its own motion, impose a sentence of preventive detention on the offender.


When considering whether to impose a sentence of preventive detention, the court must take into account—


any pattern of serious offending disclosed by the offender’s history; and


the seriousness of the harm to the community caused by the offending; and


information indicating a tendency to commit serious offences in future; and


the absence of, or failure of, efforts by the offender to address the cause or causes of the offending; and


the principle that a lengthy determinate sentence is preferable if this provides adequate protection for society.


In this section and in sections 88 and 90, qualifying sexual or violent offence means—


a sexual crime under Part 7 of the Crimes Act 1961 punishable by 7 or more years’ imprisonment; and includes a crime under section 144A or section 144C of that Act; or


an offence against any of sections 171, 173 to 176, 188, 189(1), 191, 198 to 199, 208 to 210, 234, 235, or 236 of the Crimes Act 1961.

Section 87(5)(b): amended, on 7 July 2004, by section 8 of the Sentencing Amendment Act 2004 (2004 No 68).