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NCJ Number: 134781 Find in a Library
Title: Comparative Costs of Community Service and Custody in Scotland
Journal: Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:31  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1992)  Pages:8-30
Author(s): M Knapp; E Robertson; G McIvor
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 23
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examines the costs of community service orders in Scotland and compares them with the costs of alternative custodial sentences.
Abstract: The direct costs of community service were disaggregated to the four principal component activities: assessment, matching, ongoing supervision, and processing breaches. Indirect or hidden costs were estimated. Equivalent procedures were used in the costing of custody, providing a comprehensive base for the comparison of these two penal alternatives. Four general conclusions were drawn from this comparative costing exercise. First, while cheaper than custody, community service is not as cheap as central government figures suggest. The various additions and adjustments necessary to place the costings on a comparable footing and to build in their full service ramifications make community service more expensive than indicated by previously published figures. A second conclusion is that the costs of the two penal sanctions are in a variety of sectors. The indirect costs are not large, but any major shift in sentencing patterns could increase the burden on social work departments and the health service. Third, an important factor in the narrowing of the cost difference between community service and custody was the probability of breach because of noncompliance with the order. Fourth, the available evidence suggests that community service is no less effective than custody in reducing the likelihood of further offending. 17 references
Main Term(s): Community service order; Cost/Benefit Analysis
Index Term(s): Corrections costs; Incarceration; Scotland
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