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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135917 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Custodial Sentences and Alternatives to Custody by NSW Magistrates
Author(s): R Bray
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Sydney NSW, 2000
Publication Number: ISBN 0-7316-9453-8
Sale Source: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Level 5
301 George Street
Sydney NSW,
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This monograph concludes that sentencing alternatives to imprisonment are not working as intended in New South Wales.
Abstract: Periodic detention and community service orders were created to replace imprisonment, but it appears that they are being used instead to replace fines and bonds. This means that economic and other gains of reducing the prison population are not being realized and that a more severe rather than a less severe pallet of dispositions is being used. Breaches of periodic detention and community service orders result in a much higher number of people being sentenced to full-time custody than is the case for breaches of recognizance. In order to analyze the impact of alternative options on the use of imprisonment, time series data were obtained from local courts in New South Wales. Results showed an increase in the use of alternative options for all offense categories. the largest increases being for breaking and entering, theft, and serious driving offenses. Although differences were observed between offense types, the introduction of community service orders did not decrease the use of imprisonment by magistrates. Over the same period of time in which community service orders became increasingly popular as a sentencing option, the use of imprisonment also increased. Data on offender characteristics indicated that prior record best distinguished between offenders who received an alternative option and those who were imprisoned. The study of individual case files revealed a tendency for recipients of alternative options to resemble more closely recipients of fines or bonds than persons sentenced to full-time custody. 13 references, 4 tables, and 2 figures
Main Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community service order
Index Term(s): Detention; Foreign sentencing; New South Wales
Note: Monograph Series Number 1
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