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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 212390 Find in a Library
Title: Thinking About Penal Equivalents
Journal: Punishment & Society  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:October 2005  Pages:441-455
Author(s): Voula Marinos
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A survey in Ontario, Canada, solicited public opinions about the use of fines and community service orders for various offenses and offenders (adults and juveniles) compared to imprisonment.
Abstract: The 1997 survey involved 1,006 households in Ontario. A total of 500 people responded to a questionnaire that focused on adult crime and sentencing issues; a separate but equivalent sample of 506 respondents answered questions related to juvenile crime and juvenile justice issues. Similar to past research (Doob and Marinos, 1995), the survey found that the public was less supportive of the use of a fine or community service order as a sentence for violent offenses committed by adult offenders; however, for most property offenses and minor violent offenses, for which a significant number of offenders are currently imprisoned, respondents considered community-based sanctions to be appropriate. Thus, for the public, imprisonment continues to hold symbolic value as a response to serious crimes, but for offenses that are less serious in terms of the harm caused, community-based rehabilitative measures that have promise for preventing reoffending are acceptable. Respondents were significantly less supportive of the substitution of fines for imprisonment in cases of assaults committed by juveniles, compared to adult offenders. On the other hand, respondents viewed community services orders as significantly less acceptable as a substitute for imprisonment when adult offenders were involved, compared to juveniles. This suggests that intermediate sanctions, such as fines and community service orders, are not viewed by the public as equally interchangeable with imprisonment across different offender populations. 2 tables, 22 notes, and 33 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Canada; Community-based corrections (adult); Community-based corrections (juvenile); Foreign criminal justice research; Penalty severity rating; Public Opinion of Corrections; Public Opinion of the Courts; Sentencing/Sanctions
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