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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157334 Find in a Library
Title: Imprisonment of Fine Defaulters
Corporate Author: Penal Affairs Consortium
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Penal Affairs Consortium
London, SW9 0PU, United Kingdom
Sale Source: Penal Affairs Consortium
169 Clapham Road
London, SW9 0PU,
United Kingdom
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The fine is the most common sentence used by English courts, and 22,723 people were imprisoned in 1994 for nonpayment of fines.
Abstract: In 1993, 77 percent of all persons convicted were fined. Fines were imposed for 91 percent of summary motoring offenses, 84 percent of other summary offenses, and 34 percent of indictable offenses. In 1994, 27 percent of all sentenced prisoners and 41 percent of those given sentences of 6 months or less were imprisoned for fine default. The use of imprisonment for most fine defaulters, however, is not recommended. Instead, a means-related fine system should be introduced. Courts should be required to obtain and consider a report about a defaulter's circumstances before imprisoning him or her for fine default, and legal aid should be available to those who face imprisonment due to fine default. Further, courts should review fines at the default stage and should be empowered to replace a fine with a more appropriate noncustodial sentence. Finally, imprisonment should not be available as a sanction for fine default if the original offense was nonimprisonable. 15 references
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; England; Fine defaults; Foreign correctional systems; Foreign courts; Foreign police; Foreign sentencing; Incarceration; Juveniles
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