chapter  1
Introduction: the contemporary scene for community penalties The Editors
Pages 15

The purpose of this book is to discuss possible future directions for ‘community penalties’. By these, we mean court-ordered punishments (following the terminology of the Criminal Justice Act 1991), structurally located between custody, on the one hand, and financial or nominal penalties (fines, compensation, discharge), on the other. What distinguishes community penalties from fines and compensation is that they are personally restrictive, involving some active contact with a penal agent; but, unlike custodial sanctions, this contact takes place in a community-based setting. It might take the form of active surveillance of the offender (as in electronic tagging), or participation by the offender in a programme of counselling or treatment (as in probation orders or drug treatment orders) or supervised work or other activities (as in community service orders or attendance centres).