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NCJ Number: 51478 Find in a Library
Title: BRIEF OBSERVATIONS ON PRISON OVERCROWDING DEPENALIZATION OF MINOR OFFENSES, AND ALTERNATIVES TO DETENTION
Journal: RASSEGNA DI STUDI PENITENZIARI  Volume:28  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1978)  Pages:45-50
Author(s): M BARBERA; L CULLA; G DONATO
Corporate Author: Ministero di Grazia E Giustizia
Italy
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Ministero di Grazia E Giustizia
Rome, Italy
Format: Article
Language: Italian
Country: Italy
Annotation: THE PRESENT OVERCROWDING OF ITALIAN PRISONS WITH INMATES SERVING SHORT SENTENCES FOR SUCH MINOR OFFENSES AS TRAFFIC CODE VIOLATIONS, HINDERS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RECENTLY LEGISLATED PRISON REFORMS.
Abstract: OVER ONE-QUARTER OF THE TOTAL ITALIAN PRISON POPULATION CONSISTS OF INMATES SENTENCED TO LESS THAN 4 MONTHS' DETENTION FOR SUCH OFFENSES AS DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE, OR DRIVING A NONINSURED AUTOMOBILE, WHILE MALE AND FEMALE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE OVERCROWED TO THE POINT OF CREATING A POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE SITUATION AND EFFECTIVELY PRECLUDING THE TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION PROGRAMS THEORETICALLY PRESCRIBED BY LAW. DETENTION OF MINOR VIOLATORS IS NOT ONLY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, BUT UNFAIR BOTH TO THE DETAINEES AND THEIR FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE A PRISON RECORD, NO MATTER HOW SLIGHT THE OFFENSE INVOLVED, IS AN ADDITIONAL OBSTACLE TO EMPLOYMENT IN A HIGH-UNEMPLOYMENT ECONOMY. BESIDE THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND MORAL TOLL LEVIED AGAINST THESE PRISON INMATES, THEIR UPKEEP COSTS THE TAXPAYER UPWARD OF 25,000 LIRE PER DAY. IN A RECENT POLL 70 PERCENT OF RANDOMLY CHOSEN ITALIAN CITIZENS STATED THAT THEY FAVORED THE RELEASE OF INMATES SERVING PRISON SENTENCES OF LESS THAN 2 1/2 YEARS FOR MINOR OFFENSES. RECENTLY, HOWEVER, NEW LAWS HAVE BEEN PASSED CRIMINALIZING OTHER TRAFFIC CODE VIOLATIONS, ADDING FURTHER TO THE PRISON POPULATION. DEPENALIZATION OF ALL TRAFFIC CODES VIOLATIONS, AS WELL AS OF SUCH ACTS AS ABORTION AND BIGAMY, AND REPLACEMENT OF PRISON SENTENCES WITH ALTERNATIVES TO INSTITUTIONALIZATION (E.G., NEW TYPES OF FINES, COMMENSURATE BOTH WITH THE OFFENSE AND THE OFFENDER'S SOLVENCY, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE) ARE THE ONLY RATIONAL SOLUTIONS TO THE CURRENT CRISIS OF THE ITALIAN CORRECTIONAL SYSTEM. --IN ITALIAN.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Decriminalization; Italy; Offense classification; Overcrowding; Penalty severity rating; Prison population prediction; Traffic offenses
Note: SPEECH PRESENTED AT THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF DIRECTORS OF PENITENTIARY ADMINISTRATION, ROME, ITALY, JUNE, 1977, ON 'THE PRISON WORLD IN CURRENT REALITY'
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51478

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