A variety of intermediate sanctions have been tried: day (or ‘unit’) fines based on the offender's income; community service; ‘intensive’ supervision; compulsory day or evening attendance at community facilities; and home detention. However, these penalties were fashioned ad hoc, and applied to whatever heterogeneous groups of offenders seemed convenient. When new options were made available, it was believed, judges would make use of them instead of imprisoning. There are now signs of change. Standards for intermediate sanctions are beginning to be developed. England's new Criminal Justice Act, for example, provides that proportionality requirements are to be applied not only to decisions concerning imprisonment, but also to the choice and imposition of non-custodial sanctions. Theory is just beginning to develop on how intermediate sanctions might be scaled. This chapter examines some of the issues that these schemes raise — issues concerning comparability and substitution among penalties, back-up sanctions for breach, and related matters.
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