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Why some foreign criminals are being handed lighter sentences in Victoria

3aw mornings

Foreign-born criminals are being handed lighter sentences in Victoria due to the fact they’ll eventually be deported.

The Sentencing Advisory Council has found that Victoria is among four Australians states where the threat of deportation is used when sentencing.

It comes five years after a government crackdown that now sees non-Australian citizens deported automatically if they’re sentenced to 12 months or more in jail.

The “anxiety” of being booted out of the country is considered as a factor during sentencing.

“It’s seen as an extra form of punishment,” the chair of the Sentencing Advisory Council, Professor Arie Freiberg, told 3AW Mornings.

He said between 120 and 150 criminals were being deported prior to the new law, which was introduced in 2014.

That figure quickly spiked to 1277 deportations, just two years later in 2016.

“It’s not about softening sentences, it’s about dealing with uncertainty in a situation where we are getting tougher and tougher on people who don’t have citizenship,” Professor Freiberg explained.

“And in many cases it’s quite appropriate to deport them, of course.

“This is not a case being made to defend people who’ve committed serious offences from being expelled from the country.”

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