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Intermediate Sanctions

NCJ Number
Date Published
10 pages
Intermediate sanctions, as alternatives that are beginning to fill the sentencing gap between the extremes of incarceration and probation, have been a subject of exploration by the National Institute of Justice, which has sponsored conferences, workshops, and research projects.

The four primary types of intermediate sanctions include day fines, intensive supervision probation (ISP), electronic monitoring and house arrest, and shock incarceration programs. Day fines are tailored to a defendant's ability to pay; while the amount of a fine may differ between defendants, the impact of the fine on each should be approximately equal. As a result of a Staten Island pilot project, court-imposed fines increased by 14 percent; day fines were collected in full as frequently as lower, fixed fines and did not affect the types of offenses that typically drew a fine. ISP is designed to be stricter than regular probation, often requiring offenders to pay restitution, hold a job or perform community service, submit to unscheduled alcohol and drug screening, and pay part of the probation costs. An evaluation of 14 ISP projects showed that ISPs provided closer supervision and more effective surveillance of offenders, but were more costly than regular probation and less effective in reducing recidivism. A survey of electronic monitoring suggested that the practice has been expanded to a much broader range of offenders, that chances of successful termination did not vary among types of offenders, and that there were no differences in successful termination among probationers, offenders on parole, or those in community corrections. Evaluations of several shock incarceration programs have shown that a high percentage of offenders complete the programs satisfactorily, demonstrating improved educational and vocational levels. 3 tables and 26 references

Date Published: January 1, 1993