From 'community service' to 'autonomous work penalty' in Belgium. What's in a name?

April 2010
European Journal of Probation;2010, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p4
Academic Journal
The article analyzes the autonomous work penalty or werkstraf sentencing practice in Belgium. It is reported that, the practice was introduced in the country in the year 2002 through an act, with the primary aim of introducing the work penalty as a direct substitute for imprisonment. As reported, as per the law work penalties can range between 20 to 300 hours, with the police courts having the authority to impose work penalties of between 20 to 45 hours, and correctional courts having the authority to impose work penalties of between 46 to 300 hours. It is stated that, the main aim of work penalties is to counter the public's perceptions of impunity of offenders, and to enhance the legitimacy of the penal system, as prison sentences are not executed, or only partly executed.


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