Different Alternatives To Imprisonment Criminology Essay


Alternatives to imprisonment are a fresh approach internationally in corrections. Following a World Conflict II, penal government bodies began to doubt the wisdom of keeping the jail alone as the primary correctional strategies. According to Todd, Clear & Braga, (Todd, 1995, p. 80) provides that "community-Based Correctional techniques develop in become common for second and third time criminals to receive sentences of probation with certain conditions founded by the court and where the same felons is on the city service programs". The focus here's on alternatives to imprisonment by looking it through internationally accepted requirements. The authors of this paper will focus on the next alternatives to imprisonment: community service, periodical imprisonment, correctional guidance, house arrest/ digital monitoring and day-parole.


2. 1 Community Service

Community Service can be an alternative the judge could use when it has determined that a person's offence is serious which he/she is suited to making compensation by beneficial unpaid work locally. Community Service should be bodily and emotionally requiring of the offender for the reason that this can be a restriction of independence, requires self-discipline and a esteem for others and should engage the offender in jobs or situations that challenge his/her frame of mind, experience and potential.

Community service can therefore be a positive way of earning an offender compensate for offences and it can encourage personal growth and self-respect. It shows the offender that the city is damaged by criminality and the city can see that offenders can make a constructive somewhat than dangerous contribution to the community. (ZNCCS Service, 1997, p. 4)

Legal framework for choice non-custodial sanctions is highlighted in international suggestions and countrywide legislation as provided by Bukurura (Bukurura, 2003, p. 82). On international level it is provided for in the United Nations Standards Minimum Guidelines for non-custodial actions (Countries, 1990). In the United States of America for illustration, community-based sanctions are necessary of the United States unlawful justice system. Pros have constantly confirmed their willingness to adopt evidence based practice.

According to (Melvor, 2004) who defined community service in Belgium, Netherlands, Scotland and Spain in co-operate point of view by stating that, "current criminological research is specially interested to learn if they're not witnessing a punitive change which appears to traditional western democracies today than few ages ago. The new punitive books and research on the culture of control have fuelled an ongoing question and research on this question. Community service order was for the benefit of the city as it was released in Spanish legislation with the 1995 legal code of that country".

The Uganda Correctional Service also released the Uganda Community Service Bill, 1998, using its main targets to provide community service for people who commit trivial offences, to be able to lessen overcrowding in Prisons, to rehabilitate prisoners in the neighborhoods by doing profitable work and prevent minimal offenders combining with hard central criminals. The bill further looks for to enable a courtroom which convicts a person of a minor offence, to steer the offender, with consent of the offender to perform community service instead of imprisonment. (Service, 1998, p. 1)

The first initiatives locally Service Orders started with National sensitization workshop that happened in 2002 and attended by Regional Governors, collection Ministries, Home Affairs, and Justice, Prisons and Correctional Service and minds of Criminal Justice System. (Coordinator, Consultative Visit Report, 2002, p. 1) The suggested Monthly bill on Community Service Requests in Namibia introduces various provisions which may facilitate the execution of Community Service Purchases in the united states. It is important to note that from sentencing perspective, Community Service Orders is an option used in appropriate cases to keep an offender out of jail. Accordingly a romance exists between your imprisonment that might have been imposed and the city Service Order that is to be served instead. (Coordinator, Namibia Community Service Requests, Manual, 2005, p. 5)

2. 2 Periodical Imprisonment

The court docket can direct an offender in which to stay Jail on weekends or during the night between 18h00 and 06h00.

A word of regular imprisonment is a phrase of imprisonment during which the committed person may be released for intervals during the day or nights or for periods of days and nights, or both, or if convicted of a felony, other than first degree murder, a Category X or Category 1 felony, committed to any region, municipal, or local correctional or detention organization or facility in this Condition for such intervals as the court may guide. Unless the court orders otherwise, this times and conditions of release will be determined by the Division of Corrections, the sheriff, or the Superintendent of the home of corrections, who is administering this program.

(b) A word of regular imprisonment may be imposed to permit the defendant to

(1) Seek employment

(2) Work

(3) Conduct a business or other self-employed

(4) Focus on family needs

(5) Sign up for an educational institution

With respect to periodical imprisonment, the Namibian Correctional System is lines with abovementioned meaning.

2. 3 Correctional Supervision

It is a phrase which is offered within the city and not in the Prison. A person who is providing a sentence of Correctional supervision is actually a probationer.

The aim of Correctional guidance is to give a means of rehabilitation within the city, thus preserving the important links that your offender may have with his or her family or community. Correctional guidance allows, or motivates the offender to be used. While imprisonment ends in a loss of career and the offender's failing to support his or her dependants and lead to additional costs for their state. Since offenders are locally, they could make decisions and take responsibility for their life. Offenders are also motivated to do something towards correcting their criminal behavior through participation in rehabilitative programmes.

A person sentenced to correctional supervision remains under the guidance and control of the Team of Correctional Services before sentence expires. Supervision takes the proper execution of immediate monitoring of the offender's activities and conformity with the sentence's conditions, as well as regular support consultations with social staff. Conditions of the phrase may include a period of house arrest; the necessity that the individual be home between given hours of the day; that he / she attends a treatment program; self-restraint from liquor or drugs; prohibition from giving a magisterial district; or a certain volume of hours of community service. Any or all of these conditions may be enforced. (Dissel, 1997, p. 4)

Diversion is endorsed by Section 6 of the Criminal Procedure Act, and can be used where in fact the offence determined is relatively minor. (Justice, 1977, p. 76). If the offender has accepted responsibility for the offence, the prosecutor can suspend the prosecution of the circumstance after fulfillment of certain conditions.

This is usually on the problem that the offender attends a particular treatment programme. Charges are withdrawn following the conditions have been fulfilled.

The Namibian legislation makes provision in the Prisons Function 17 of 1998 (Gazzette, 1998, p. 83) Section 96 and 97 that inmates be release on parole or probation on conditions as may be determined by the Zonal Release Table.

2. 4 House arrest/electric monitoring

Home detention can be seen instead of imprisonment and is designed to reduce re-offending while also dealing with increasing prison statistics and growing costs. It allows appropriate offenders to keep or seek career, maintain family interactions and duties and attend rehabilitative programs that contribute towards addressing the causes of their offending.

The terms of house arrest may vary, but offenders are seldom confined to their houses 24 hours a day. Most programs allow used offenders to continue to work, in support of confine them during non-working hours. They are able to leave their homes for specific, predetermined purposes; for example goes to to the probation officer or police place, spiritual exceptions and medical appointments. (Spohn, 2008, p. 52). Many programmes also permit the offender to leave the home during regular, pre-approved times in order to handle general household responsibilities such as shopping, church services, executing Community Services or going to authorised activities. (Stinchcomb, 2005, p. 99)

House arrest in a few countries such as Canada and New Zealand is often enforced by using technology products or services. An electric sensor may also be locked to the offender's ankle joint known as an ankle monitor. A little portable monitoring device that pick-up radio alerts produced by offender's ankle joint or arm bracelet which is linked to a central computer system provides confirmation of an offender's whereabouts. (Champion, 2008) The electronic sensor transmits a Gps navigation signal to basics handset. The base handset is connected to police or a monitoring service.

If the offender with the sensor steps too far from home, the violation is documented and the right government bodies are summoned. Many ankle monitors is now able to detect attempted removal; this is to discourage tampering. The monitoring service is often contracted out to private companies, which assign employees to electronically screen many convicts together. If the detectors find a violation, the monitoring service calling the convict's probation officer. The electronic monitoring together with recurrent connection with their probation official and bank checks by the security guards offers a secure environment. (Collins, 1974, p. 79)

Another method to ensure house arrest will be the use of robotic calling services that require no individual contact to be sure of the offender. Random telephone calls are created to the residence and the respondent's answer is documented and compared to the offender's voice structure. Specialists are notified only when the decision is not solved or if the saved answer does not match the offender's speech style. (Allen, 1986, p. 36).

Currently, the Namibian Criminal Justice System is not making use of house arrest/ digital monitoring.

2. 5 Day Parole

It is a management device preceding the parole stage to steadily assist an offender to be released into the community at his own responsibility under handled circumstances. Day parole suggests the temporary release of offender from Prison or a Correctional establishment like a halfway house to work or examine, accompanied by re-confinement during non- work or non-school hours. During working hours offender work with an employer and are payed for the work. (Bruyns, A synopsis of the Lawbreaker Justice System and Community-Based phrases, 2011).

Currently, the Namibian Felony Justice System is not utilizing day parole.


Based on the literature review and own understanding of the subject area, the writers of this newspaper found that there's a great dependence on alternatives to imprisonment. Community Service as a community-based sentence, a pilot tasks in the North region of the united states has proved that it is successful in Namibia. The Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) have a draft Community Service Order Charge which stipulates plainly the conditions under which an offender acquired to perform Community Service. Political or religious teams must not take advantage of the work assigned to inmates. (Bruyns, The impact of jail reform on the inmate inhabitants of swaziland, 2007, p. 60). An offender who hasn't committed a significant criminal offense or developed a criminal lifestyle, in the community will be able to access community support systems to aid him in rehabilitation, with the hope of preventing his re-offending.

The findings also have it on good authority that the explanation for community-based sentences is to keep offenders from the Prison, and alternatively send those to serve their phrases locally. This simply means that offenders remain in their communities to execute productive work to be able to aid themselves and their own families, quite simply the alternatives to imprisonment were found to be promoting family cohesion. Through serving their sentences locally the offenders also pay off victims (retribution) for loss suffered. Based on the success of community-based phrases, advantages and disadvantages were also completely scrutinised which is found that its advantages outweigh the negatives. Alternatives to imprisonment were found to be the process of reducing prison population (overcrowding). Overcrowding is found to be a general situation in Prisons when the full total amount of inmates in jail is beyond the authorised positioning capacity. In order to address this ever increasing problem in your Correctional facilities the writers of this newspaper found that alternatives to imprisonment is the right answer to overcrowding. Alternatives to imprisonment is also found to be promoting community development through utilisation of skills possessed by the offenders apart from locking them up in prisons. A good example is, when a professional such as a Physician is phrase to an alternative to imprisonment the skills possessed by that one Physician can be utilised to the fantastic benefit of the city, somewhat than locking him/her up in Prison, which will provide no goal.

Community based sentences in comparison with imprisonment was found to be much cheaper. This finding is noticeable from the fact that offenders incarcerated have to be given food, home bedding, clothing, normal water and electricity etc through government costs. On the other hand the offenders serving community-based word remains locally and is accountable for his needs. Community-based sentence is furthermore found to get positive effect on recidivism in a way that offenders receive chance to remain and serve their sentence in the community. Quite simply their chances of reoffending are incredibly slim unlike those incarcerated, while offenders who are imprisoned are blending with hard primary criminals and the programme officers don't have enough time complete rehabilitation programs, especially when they serving short-term imprisonment.


It is evident from the conclusions that alternative phrases outweigh imprisonment in terms of retaining offender's dignity, lowering of prison human population (overcrowding), promoting community development through utilisation of skills possessed by the offender apart from locking them up in prisons, conserving government expenses and promoting family cohesion, and reduction of recidivism. Apart from providing all abovementioned good purposes, alternatives sentences also served as a means of avoiding combining of the first offenders with hardcore criminals in the prisons. The offenders who are serving alternative sentences will perform positive unpaid work of their areas of home and do the sort of reparation to the city rather than ending up in Prisons. Imagine, locking up offender who devoted modest offence such as shoplifting together with hard key murderer or rapist would result in that offenders become more criminal than rehabilitated.


Against this backdrop, it is strongly recommended that alternative phrases to imprisonment such as community service, periodical imprisonment, correctional supervision, house arrest/ digital monitoring and day-parole be looked at by Correctional Services, specifically, Namibian Correctional Service.

After studying the pros and drawbacks of alternatives to imprisonment, this kind of sentencing is merely one of the positive ways of interacting with offenders. Against this background the writers of this newspaper strongly recommends these other alternatives as follows

The Court sentence offenders with minor offences to alternative so community service, periodical imprisonment, correctional supervision, house arrest/ electric monitoring and day-parole. This type of alternatives aims to accomplish and involve the reintegration of the offender as law-abiding citizens back into the community by; enforcing unpaid work, ensuring reparation to the city, reduce a threat of recidivism or repeat offending, increased potential for rehabilitating the offender to satisfactory social expectations.

Secondly, periodical imprisonment is preferred to be utilized as option to imprisonment as it helps bring about community development through utilisation of skills possessed by the offenders apart from locking them up in prisons.

Thirdly correctional supervision is recommend by the authors as option to imprisonment predicated on the reasoning that type of alternate aims to provide a means of rehabilitation within the community, thus maintaining the key links that your offender may have along with his or her family or community. Furthermore correctional supervision allows, or promotes the offender to be used. Correctional supervision instead of imprisonment ensure that the offender stay employed and thus able to support his / her dependents, nor lead to additional charges for their state. Since offenders are locally, they are able to make decisions and take responsibility for his or her life. Offenders are also motivated to do something towards fixing their criminal behavior through contribution in rehabilitative programs.

Fourthly, house arrest/ digital monitoring is preferred not to be a viable alternative to imprisonment in Namibia as this might not exactly maintain concurrence with the Constitutional procedures such as admiration of real human dignity and liberty of motion provided for in articles 8 and 21 respectively of the Namibian Constitution. (Federal N. , 2010) page number.

Lastly day parole is firmly recommended by the writers as a practical option to imprisonment since it little by little assist an offender to be released into the community at his own responsibility under manipulated circumstances. Day parole implies the momentary release of the offender from Jail or a Correctional organization like a halfway house to work or study, followed by re-confinement during non- work or non-school hours. During working time offender work for an company and are paid.

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