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NCJ Number: 68034 Find in a Library
Title: ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT - THE FINE AS A SENTENCING MEASURE
Author(s): J A SCUTT
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 41
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: THIS PAPER ANALYZES THE FINE IN AUSTRALIA AS A PENALTY FOR CRIMINAL ACTS, SUMMARY OFFENSES, AND OTHER TYPES OF NONCOMPLIANCE.
Abstract: ONE OF THE MOST ARRESTING FEATURES OF THE LEGISLATION PROVIDING FOR FINES IS THE LACK OF ANY UNIFORMITY IN RELATING THE FINE TO THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE. PENALTIES IN TERMS OF SOME CRIMES MAY BE DISPARATE WHEN COMPARED WITH PENALTIES IN RELATION TO OFFENSES OF AN EQUALLY SERIOUS NATURE. ANOTHER DISCREPANCY IS THE VARIANCE OF THE PENALTY IN COMPARISON WITH THE TERM OF IMPRISONMENT TO WHICH IT MAY BE AN ALTERNATIVE. SUCH DISCREPANCIES ARISE FROM THE PIECEMEAL MANNER IN WHICH LEGISLATION IS INTRODUCED, THIS ACTIVITY BEING INFLUENCED BY LEGISLATORS' HAPHAZARD INTERESTS IN PARTICULAR CRIMES. A SOLUTION WOULD BE TO CATEGORIZE OFFENSES IN TERMS OF THEIR SERIOUSNESS, WITH AN APPROPRIATE PENALTY SET FOR A PARTICULAR CATEGORY. SUCH CATEGORIZATION WOULD ALSO MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO UPGRADE FINES UNIFORMLY TO REFLECT INFLATIONARY ECONOMIC CHANGES. FINES SHOULD BE RELATED TO THE GUILT AND RESOURCES OF THE OFFENDER WITH ADJUSTMENTS IN TERMS OF TIME ALLOTMENTS FOR COMPLETION OF PAYMENT, SECURITY IN LIEU OF IMMEDIATE PAYMENT, AND PROVISION FOR INSTALLMENT PAYMENT. ENFORCEMENT OF FINES SHOULD BE PROVIDED BY ALTERNATIVES SUCH AS WORK ORDERS OR A POSSIBLE INSTANT OPTION AT THE TIME OF SENTENCING. OFFENDERS THEN COULD CHOOSE BETWEEN WORK OR PAYMENT. MOREOVER, CONSIDERATION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THE DIVERSION OF A PROPORTION (OR ALL) OF THE AMOUNT OF THE FINE TO A GENERAL FUND FOR VICTIM COMPENSATION OR THE PROVISION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR DIRECT RESTITUTION BY THE OFFENDERS TO THEIR VICTIMS. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Australia; Fines; Penalty severity rating; Sentencing disparity
Note: RESEARCH PAPER NUMBER 3 ON SENTENCING SUBMITTED TO THE AUSTRAILIAN LAW REFORM COMMISSION
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68034

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