Our Senior Associate Georgina Athanasiou, our Partner Dr. Nicolas Kyriakides and Ioannis Generalis have just published a new research on Alternative Sentencing, in Cyprus Law Review, vol. 3, 2022, pp. 400-413.
Alternative sentencing to a large extent consist of substitutes to incarceration, and offer numerous advantages for the wider system (jail decongestion, cost reductions), as well as the defendant (rehabilitation, avoidance of marginalisation). However, their application in Cyprus is regarded as limited and insufficient.
The study combines quantitative and qualitative research and focuses on district court Cypriot judgments from 2019 and 2020, in order to elucidate tendencies and bring forth perceptions. The review of judgments clearly shows alternative sentences could and should have been employed further, for sentences under 2 years and/or fines.
The obstacle in the increased application of alternative sentences partly lies in the use of suspended sentences as a panacea, in the mistaken evocation of deterrence which should be distinguished into specific or general, in the artificial separation of powers, as well as the disproportionate use of age criteria. As for the wider context, increased application of alternative sentences demands the transition from retributive to utilitarian justice.
You can read the full research here.