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Copy of Alternatives to prison - Community Sentencing, fines and other
Transcript of Copy of Alternatives to prison - Community Sentencing, fines and other
Community sentencing, fines and other
non-custodial sentences The crime rate is falling yet the prison population is rising. Prison is not the only option Usually consists of rehabilitation programmes and work in the community. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 brought into force, from April 2005, the 'generic community sentence' (also known as a community order) Allows judges and magistrates the ability to combine a variety of options, without having to sentence an offender to a custodial sentence.
Many have educational or skill based elements. Offender’s under strict conditions - breach of a community sentence = instant prison sentence. Strict curfews or prohibitions on who they can meet or what they can do. Offenders under the age of 25 may be required to attend a centre at a specified time for between 12 and 36 hours, over the course of their sentence. Those subject to drug rehabilitation orders face random testing for up to three years. Is this a soft option? Video Reconviction rates for offenders serving community sentences - 14% lower than those serving time in jail (Howard League for Penal Reform) Lord Philips (Lord Chief of Justice of England and Wales from 2005 to 2008) "The idea that using alternatives to custody is being soft is wrong. The penal element of community punishment was not that the work was particularly hard, but the sacrifice of free time and the need for self-discipline. Having to get out of bed early in the morning was punishment for some. The self-discipline required could create self-respect, and quite often at the end of their time offenders volunteer to continue or seek similar paid work." In 2007, 162,648 offenders started court orders in the community. The value of the fines is decided by the court but is within limits set by the CJS Fines are normally classified in by a banding or level. Examples of fines Drunk and disorderly in a public place - max. £1,000 Going equipped for theft - max. £5,000 (and/or custodial sentence) Obstructing/resisting a police officer in execution of duty - max. £1,000 (and/or custodial sentence) Railway fare evasion - max. £1,000 (or custodial sentence) Threats to kill - max. £5,000 (and/or custodial sentence) Level 1 - £200
Level 2 - £500
Level 3 - £1,000
Level 4 - £2,500
Level 5 - £5,000 FINE BAND A
Starting Point: 50% of relevant weekly income
Range: 25% - 75% of relevant weekly income
FINE BAND B
Starting Point: 100% of relevant weekly income
Range: 75% - 125% of relevant weekly income
FINE BAND C
Starting Point: 150% of relevant weekly income
Range: 125% - 175% of relevant weekly income
FINE BAND D
Starting Point: 250% of relevant weekly income
Range: 200% - 300% of relevant weekly income
FINE BAND E
Starting Point: 400% of relevant weekly income
Range: 300% - 500% of relevant weekly income Use and effectiveness Use of fines by courts instead of custodial sentences has been decreasing, but still the most used sentence 24% (1,394) of people sent to prison in 2009 were imprisoned for failure to pay fines
Spent an average of 4 days in custody They are a useful punishment for low level crimes In 2011, 66% of all offenders received a fine (total £851, 607) However... Video Discharge Conditional Discharge - defendant is not punished as long as they do not get into trouble for a period of time (can be up to 3 years) Absolute Discharge - defendant is released unconditionally without any punishment. If found guilty of committing another offence during the specified time. If the defendant commits another offence during the specified period, he may be re-sentenced for the original offence. Suitable for cases where the defendant, though technically guilty of the offence, is not thought to deserve any punishment. The most lenient sentence available to the court.
Attendance Centre Order - the young person has to attend a designated attendance centre for a period between 12 and 24 hours & will work on an agreed programme to address their offender behaviour. The hours will normally be completed over a number of months For young people Reparation Order - has to carry out an agreed activity in the community for up to 24 hours Community Responsibility Order - a type of community service, combination of specific hours (between 20-40) to be spent of specific activites and citizenship learning Youth Conference Order - gives the opportunity for young offenders to understand and make amends to their victims, and stop future offending Bibliography http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/criminal-justice/criminal-justice-statistics