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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 135921 Find in a Library
Title: Community Service Orders and Periodic Detention as Sentencing Options: A Survey of Judicial Officers in New South Wales
Author(s): R Bray; J Chan
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 75
Sponsoring Agency: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Sydney NSW, 2000
Publication Number: ISBN 0-7305-8596-4
Sale Source: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Level 5
301 George Street
Sydney NSW,
Australia
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: The authors of this study interviewed 18 district court judges and 22 magistrates in New South Wales between February and September 1989 to obtain information on the use of community service orders (CSO's) and periodic detention (PD).
Abstract: Judicial officers were asked to express their opinions on what kinds of offenses should attract CSO and PD dispositions, the attitudes of sentencers toward such dispositions, and difficulties encountered in their use. Most judges and magistrates felt that CSO's make a positive contribution to the offender's rehabilitation or education. Not all judicial officers, however, thought CSO's should be used exclusively as an alternative to imprisonment. Some judicial officers were ambivalent in their responses, suggesting that sometimes CSO's but less so PD were used more appropriately instead of fines or bonds. Sentencers appeared to accept the proposition that imprisonment is a sentence of last resort. The vast majority of sentencers saw CSO's as an alternative to imprisonment. A substantial proportion also felt that CSO's fulfill the objectives of punishment and deterrence. About one in three judicial officers considered CSO's as an intermediate option between gaol and noncustodial sanctions. Judges who dealt with more serious offenses tended to see CSO's as a softer option than magistrates. The latter perceived CSO's as a relatively harsh penalty reserved for the more serious offenses and for offenders with significant prior records. Most judicial officers considered punishment and deterrence as objectives of PD. In contrast to CSO's, however, rehabilitation was not regarded as an important objective of PD. Many judicial officers viewed PD as a last chance option to full-time imprisonment and generally preferred the CSO option over PD. Policy issues related to the use of CSO's and PD in New South Wales are discussed. Additional data on the survey are appended. Footnotes and tables
Main Term(s): Community service order; Detention
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Foreign sentencing; Judicial attitudes; New South Wales; Sentencing guidelines
Note: Monograph Series Number 3
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=135921

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