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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91623 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Fines - A Sentencing Alternative to Short-Term Incarceration
Journal: Iowa Law Review  Volume:68  Issue:5  Dated:(July 1983)  Pages:1285-1313
Author(s): D M Ryan
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 29
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Fines are successfully and effectively used as the primary criminal sanctions in Sweden, West Germany, and Great Britain; the United States should be able to make equally good use of fines.
Abstract: Increased use of a system of fines may prove more cost effective than other sanctions because fines have the potential to bring more money into the system than the costs of administration. Both fines and incarceration achieve the sentencing goals of retribution and deterrence. Fines should be favored over incarceration, however, because fines involve a deprivation of property that is less severe deprivation than the loss of freedom resulting from incarceration. Freedom should only be taken from those who are dangerous to society. Thus, deprivation of property is a more humane way to punish and deter criminal activities. Ideally, prisons should be used only for long-term incarceration when incapacitation is the primary sentencing goal. Short-term incarceration should be used only when, given the facts of a particular case, the sentencing judge determines that the advantages of a fine are outweighed by the advantages of incarceration. Apart from these situations, a fine should be the sanction when the sentencing goals are retribution and deterrence. A total of 215 citations are provided. (Author summary modified)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Deterrence; Fines; Punishment
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