Terrorists still radicalised at end of prison term facing indefinite sentences in NSW

Terrorists still radicalised at end of prison term facing indefinite sentences in NSW

Terrorists still radicalised at end of prison term facing indefinite sentences in NSW

Updated 4 October 2017, 20:25 AEDT

Terrorists could face indefinite prison terms in New South Wales if they are still deemed radicalised at the end of their sentences, under new laws being described as the toughest in the world.

Terrorists could face indefinite prison sentences in New South Wales under tough new laws announced today.

Modelled on similar punishments for violent sex offenders, the measures will give NSW's Supreme Court the power to keep prisoners in jail if they are deemed radicalised, even if their sentence has ended.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government needed to take preventative action to protect the community.

"Irrespective of why you're locked up, do not subject yourself to any activity that is a threat to the community because you will not be let out," she said.

The measures were announced ahead of tomorrow's special Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on counter-terrorism in Canberra.

The new laws, to be introduced into the NSW Parliament in November, are modelled on the state's existing post sentence scheme for high-risk violent and sex offenders.

Despite the Government pledging safeguards, it said would ensure the new measures were "used appropriately", however, some terrorism law experts are concerned.

Nicola McGarrity from the Terrorism Law Reform Project at the University of NSW said the focus should be on rehabilitation.

"The reality is that unless we have effective and targeted rehab programs the situation will be locking them up and throwing away the key and we need to be honest about that reality," Dr McGarrity said.

Toughest laws in the world

NSW Corrections Minister David Elliott said evidence of radicalisation would be gathered from different agencies.

"What is under that unacceptable risk banner would include radical behaviour, letters, interactions, treatment of staff within the corrections establishment, treatment of other inmates," he said.

"It is unfortunate that we have to introduce what are potentially the toughest anti-terrorism laws in the world — but what would be more unfortunate is if somebody who was radicalised in a prison and was then released and did harm."

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller welcomed the new powers.

"Terrorism is not the type of crime where you can wait to get close to let the offence happen," he said.

"It's not like a shoplifting offence where if you miss the shoplifter on a Monday you get them on a Tuesday."