Costs of Alternative Sanctions in Hungary

Author: Kerezsi, K.

Source: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, Volume 6, Number 4, 1998 , pp. 561-572(12)

Publisher: Springer

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ABSTRACT. The author calculated the specific costs of executing probation and community service orders. In addition, she attempted to design indicators that help determine the amount of effort probation officers make to perform their duties. In Hungary, the probation service is under the supervision of the judicial system; therefore, it does not have a separate budget. The author calculated the costs of alternative sanctions in multiple steps. The study found that in 1997 the costs of performing probation orders amounted to HUF 10,645 (± 47 Euro) per case per year whereas those of performing community service totalled HUF 13,395 (± 60 Euro). The analysis established that fines imposed are collected and utilised by the courts themselves. This implies a risk, namely, that judicial sanctioning practice may be determined not only by penal law but also by financial considerations. The author claims that this casts a different light on the recent punishment practice under which imprisonment (and its non-suspended form, in particular) has been increasingly replaced by fines rather than community sanctions.

Keywords: alternative sanctions; community service; costs

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: National Institute of Criminology and Criminalistics, P.O. Box 41, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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