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Key issues


Key Terms

This Module on 'alternatives to imprisonment' focuses on the term 'non-custodial measures', as defined by the Commentary on The Tokyo Rules. As such, the term 'non-custodial measures' refers to "any decision made by a competent authority, at any stage of the administration of criminal justice, which requires a person suspected of, accused of or sentenced for an offence to submit to certain conditions or obligations that do not include imprisonment" (1993, p. 3). In particular, it refers to measures "that require an offender to remain in the community and to comply with certain conditions" (1993, p. 3).

The Commentary on The Tokyo Rules clarifies further that the term "offender" refers to "all persons subject to prosecution, trial or the execution of a sentence", and is therefore used in a generic sense, without detracting from the presumption of innocence or from the rights of accused persons. The term "competent authority" refers to "a member of the judiciary, a prosecutor or a body that is empowered by law to make decisions about the imposition or implementation of a non-custodial measure" (1993, p. 3).


The sections that follow explore five sub-topics on alternative to imprisonment:

Next: Topic one - Aims and significance of alternatives to imprisonment
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