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NCJ Number: 205805 Find in a Library
Title: Techniques in Enhancing Community-Based Alternatives to Incarceration: A European Perspective (From Annual Report for 2002 and Resource Material Series No. 61, P 61-87, 2003, -- See NCJ-205803)
Author(s): Tapio Lappi-Seppala
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Tokyo, Japan
United Nations Publications
New York, NY 10017
Sale Source: United Nations Publications
1st Avenue and 46th Street
Concourse Level
New York, NY 10017
United States of America

United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
26-1 Harumi-Cho, Fuchu
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: Japan
Annotation: This paper analyzes new community-based sanctions in Europe designed to divert more offenders from incarceration.
Abstract: The author classifies new alternatives to incarceration according to which phase of the criminal justice system they occur: before, during, or after court proceedings. Section 1 discusses changing criminal justice sanctions that occur before the trial. Changes in the discretionary powers of prosecutors is examined as the author illustrates that the current trend in European countries widens the power of prosecutors. Section 1 also examines the use of pre-trial detention and analyzes means for reducing the use of pre-trial detention; pre-trial detention policies in Finland are presented as an example. Section 2 discusses the possibilities and pitfalls of the various new community sanctions throughout Europe, with an emphasis on the criminal justice system policies of Sweden and Finland. New alternatives to incarceration are classified according to their goal and emphasis and are compared to traditional alternatives to incarceration. In the area of supervision and support, new alternatives include intensive probation while traditional alternatives offer conditional imprisonment and suspended sentences. New alternatives that focus on restitution and community involvement include victim-offender mediation, family group conferences, and healing circles. The limitations and possible pitfalls of these new alternatives are discussed, as are the pre-conditions for their success. Pitfalls of new alternatives include the possibilities of net-widening and social discrimination. Pre-conditions for their success within criminal justice systems include clearly defined goals and implementation criteria and consistency of enforcement. Community service programs in Finland and the Swedish system of treatment on contract are described in terms of how they have overcome the potential pitfalls to become successful programs. House arrest and electronic monitoring are examined and the Swedish system of intensive supervision is described for illustration purposes. General themes in juvenile justice are discussed as the experiment with the “juvenile penalty” in Finland is described. Finally in section 2, mediation practices in Norway and Finland are explored. Section 3 looks at incarceration alternatives that occur at the sentencing phase, such as restrictions on the use of imprisonment, amendments to recidivism rules, and restrictions on the use of predictive sentencing. Section 4 explores parole and early release programs through an examination of the key points of parole policies and their benefits, as well as the use of amnesties.
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system policy; Foreign criminal justice systems
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Criminal justice system reform; Intermediate sanctions
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