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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70619 Find in a Library
Title: Pilot Experiment of Sentencing to Community Work
Journal: Criminologie  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:special issue (1979)  Pages:24-40
Author(s): J Fortier; G Gallant
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Canada
Annotation: A pilot study was conducted in Quebec, Canada, to discover whether sentencing offenders to a certain number of hours of community work rather than to imprisonment would be acceptable to the community and to the criminal justice system.
Abstract: As originally conceived, such community work was to be an alternative incarceration for offenders who were not a great risk to the public. The project was implemented between April 1977 and May 1978 with the objective of discovering whether community work answered a need of the criminal justice system and whether it was applicable in the Quebec context. Preparation for a community work sentence was carried out in four steps: the request, a study of the accused candidate, the study of an appropriate community resource, and the recommendation by the probation officer through a presentence report. The request originated in 62 cases with the probation officers' recommendation in the presentence report, and in 10 cases with the court's specific request that the possibility for such a sentence be investigated in the presentence report. The pilot study revealed that clients who completed their community sentence successfully had high motivation to participate in the program, were stable, and had a residence that was close to their job. The study also revealed that it was quite important to retain at all times a file of interested, nonprofit organizations or community resources where the offenders could work. All participants felt that the project should be generalized to all Quebec. Judges and probation officers felt that the sentence filled a gap between incarceration and supervised suspension of sentences. Probation officers felt that the measure enriched their work in the offenders were involved in humanizing and resocializing activities. Community agencies were pleased to participate actively in the criminal justice system. The accused appreciated the opportunity to pay back the public for their crimes and to be consulted personally with regard to their sentence. Finally, the new measure was praised for its cost effectiveness. Recommendations focused on the need for an expanded list of community resources and the importance of placing the implementation and operation of the project under responsibility of the probation service. --in French.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Canada; Contract probation; Probation or parole services; Restitution; Restitution programs; Sentencing reform
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