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Every crime or offence must be punished.

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The most severe punishment is imprisonment. Prisoners are kept in separate institutions according to the severity of crime, age, gender and other conditions. Thus, the inmates include unconvicted prisoners, juvenile delinquents, women prisoners, recidivists and life-sentence prisoners.

Prisoners who serve longer sentences are held in maximum-security prisons. Barred cells, locked doors, periodic checking of sells, searches for contraband, and detailed regulations of prisoners’ life are all undertaken to prevent escapes. Young offenders are usually detained in reformatories which purpose is correction rather than punishment.

Prisoners who are not considered a danger are held in low-security or open prisons.

In most criminal justice systems the majority of offenders are punished by means other than custody.

Fine is the most common penalty and it has a lot of advantages. It is inexpensive to administer and does not have side effects, such as social stigma and loss of job. However, there is a danger that richer offenders can pay this fine easily, whereas less well-to-do citizens will have a heavy burden.

To pay restitution or compensation is popular in some countries as an alternative to prison. But there are some drawbacks. The first drawback is similar to the one with the fine. The second is that not all victims can get this compensation. Only when the offender is caught and his guilt is proved, victims of the crime will be recompensed. In some countries the victims get compensation from public funds, whether or not the offender is detected.

Probation essentially involves the suspension of sentence on the offender. The offender continues to live in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. If the offender does not commit any other crimes, no other penalty is imposed. If he breaks the requirements of order or commits a new crime, he will be brought back in court and punished for the original crime and the new offence. In many American states probation is combined with a suspended sentence.

Reparation means that the offender makes good the damage he has done through his crime, not by paying money but by providing services to the victim directly or indirectly. In England it takes the form of the community service order. The offender may perform up to 240 hours of unpaid work for the community, usually for the period of 12 months. It may involve heavy physical labour or help to handicapped people.

Other alternative to prison is disqualification. For example, an offender may be disqualified from driving a car or from holding a driving license. A fraudulent company director may be disqualified from directing the company. A corrupt politician may be disqualified from holding public office. A bad parent may be deprived of parental authority over his/her children.


2. Find in the text above the English equivalents for the following words and expression:

быть лишенным водительских прав

возмещение ущерба

коррумпированный политик

быть лишенным родительских прав

отсрочка исполнения приговора или наказания

сотрудник службы пробации

условное осуждение

наблюдение, надзор

отсроченный приговор

компенсация, возмещение

общественные работы


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