The Advantages and Disadvantages of Community Service or Social Service as Modes of Criminal Punishment.

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 8988
  • Published: September 22, 2010
Read full document
Text Preview
The advantages and disadvantages of Community service or social service as modes of criminal punishment. Community service or social service is a mode of punishment provide by the law which the offender can escape imprisonment or fines. Community service acts as an alternative to the harsh criminal punishment. Generally, community service is handed down by a judge or magistrate to the first-timer offender or teenage offender. This punishment can also be handed down in the case of minor offences for example traffic violations, petty theft, and other nonviolent offenses. The offender is required to perform unpaid work or other activity in the community under the direction of a probation officer or supervisor. Among the community work undergo by the offender are cleaning up roadside or parks, attending educational programs and presenting speeches and seminars concerning the negative effect of crime. The community work may be a specific community service which imposed a particular service, depending on the types and degrees of the offences. For instance, offender of littering will have to clean a park so that he understands the effect of littering, thus change his perception towards littering. Meaning to say, community service is designed to ensure that the guilty party is punished in some way other than simply paying a fine which can be nothing in the way of a deterrent. Many individuals convicted of a crime and have to pay a fine simply done the same offence again and this leads only to their continual committing of crime. The community service is imposed for a specific period which measured by hour of service. The hours imposed is vary, depending on the nature of the offence. Community service is a healthy alternative mode of punishment and has lots of advantages. It is seen to benefit a country and the government in so many ways. Firstly, community service provide for less expensive punishment compared to imprisonment. It takes a lot of money to send a person to jail. In United Kingdom, it costs £100 per day to keep a low-risk drug-addicted offender in jail and £37,500 for sending a person to prison for one year. In contrast, only £3,000 is needed to send a person to one year of community rehabilitation order. On average, sending a person to prison is 12 times higher than sending a person to community service. Prisons around the world are facing the same problem which is overcrowding prison. More prisoners means more foods and more security is needed. The increase in the numbers of prisoners subsequently increases the cost for running the prison. So, based on the facts, community service is a great way to cut government cost on punishing offenders as it provide for the less expensive approach with similar effect and helps in reducing the overcrowding problem in prison. Consequently, the money saved can be used for development thus improve the living of the country. Secondly, community service is healthier than imprisonment. This is because, community service offer help to the offenders to rehabilitate themselves more effectively than in prison. This is mainly because; by community service the offenders are able to give something back to the community as prove that they have change. By doing so, the offenders will have small risk of reoffending neither in the number of crimes nor the seriousness of the crimes. If the offender is stuck in the 6×8 feet cell, the offender will have limited resources to help him rehabilitate. Furthermore, putting a first time offender with minor offence in the same room with big time criminal for quite sometimes will negatively affect the first time offender in term of his thinking towards crimes. So, separating the offender is a way to avoid an escalation in deviant behavior when new offenders are mixed with hardened criminals. Next, community service benefits the courts as it provide sentencing alternatives for the courts in making judgment so the courts are not bound to only impose...
tracking img