Community penalties in the United States

Michael Tonry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The author discusses some background matters concerning the US criminal justice systems that may provide useful context for non-US readers, and summarises the main general conclusions about the operation of community penalties from two decades' research. He also briefly summarises research concerning each of the major penalties that have been attempted. Why American jurisdictions have been comparatively unsuccessful at use of community penalties as alternatives to incarceration and whether that lack of receptivity can be changed is discussed in the conclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A RAND Corporation evaluation of the Arizona, Connecticut, Iowa, and Oregon projects was funded by the National Institute of Justice; except in Phoenix, the findings were disappointing (Turner and Petersilia 1996). A Bureau of Justice Assistance manual is conspicuously uninformative about the evaluation findings but hints at the pilots’ limited success: “it is clear from the experiences to date that much careful thought must be given to making day fines an option in specific jurisdictions” (Bureau of Justice Assistance 1996, p. 5).

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Community sentences
  • Evaluation
  • Literature review
  • Sentencing guidelines


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