EFFECTIVENESS OF ALTERNATIVE SENTENCES TO PRISON UNDER ANALYSIS
A FONDECYT PROJECT, BY ACADEMIC SEBASTIÁN SALINERO, SEEKS TO EVALUATE THE DESIGN OF THE LAW THAT INTRODUCES MEASURES TO PROMOTE SOCIAL REINTEGRATION.
April 25, 2016
It has been two years since the implementation of the Law on Alternative Sentences to prison, which amended the previous legislation (N°18.216) in our country, creating alternatives to prison, including partial confinement and intensive probation, which implies the tracking of convicted offenders through an electronic bracelet.
However, there are still no assessments or research concerning the relevance of its regulatory design, its implementation or the changes that this has meant for the operators of the justice system, as well as for the offenders. This, considering the objectives set by the same law. Nor are there any assessments that show the results or impacts of the regulations.
This is what was said by academic Sebastian Salinero, from the Center for the Study of Criminal Law (CEDEP), School of Juridical and Social Sciences of our University, who leads the Regular Fondecyt research project called “Assessment of Alternative Sentences and the Road towards a Modern Criminal Policy of Alternatives to Prison.”
Through this study, the professor seeks to provide an analysis of the legislative design of the above-mentioned Law on Alternative Sentences to Prison, which introduces a series of measures to promote social reintegration. This academic work will also review the implementation and outcomes, considering the objectives that motivated the reform.
“In the area of alternative sentences there is very little work done from the doctrine field, and from the empirical one even less. So, the research in which we focus will stand as a starting point for the discipline,” said Professor Sebastian Salinero.
The current regulations created new alternative sentences, which go in addition to the already existing ones. This concerns partial day, night or weekend confinement (before, there was only partial night confinement). Likewise, it is also about intensive probation, entailing the use of the technology of the electronic bracelet, as well as the provision of services for the benefit of the community, and the expulsion of convicted foreigners with illegal residence, too.
The four main hypotheses of this Fondecyt project on alternative sentences are: that they involve an effective instrument of a criminal policy oriented to the reduction of criminal recidivism; that they must be imposed balancing the criteria of severity of the sentence and considering the appropriateness of the sanction according to the criminal profile of the convicts; that the alternative sentences of the reformed Law N°18.216 were not adequately implemented; and that in the Chilean legal system regarding alternative measures to prison do not have an appropriate regulatory design.
In regard to the objectives of this research, it seeks to clarify what is meant by alternative sentences and their differentiation from the penalties involving deprivation of liberty, establishing the purpose, characterization, and the competence scope of these; to examine and evaluate the operation of these in the country and to formulate criteria for the regulation of alternative sentences nationally.