This book represents the main output of the research project titled “Prison overcrowding and alternatives to detention”, funded by the European Commission and completed in the spring of 2016. The resarch started from the acknowledgment that both European and national legal sources increasingly associate the use of non-custodial sanctions and measures with the “pragmatic” objective of reducing the prison population. The specificity of the present publication therefore lies in the fact that it openly places an emphasis on the relationship between the expansion of alternatives to detention and a reduction in incarceration rates. The book thus begins with a first section dedicated to the supranational sources addressing the alternatives to detention, highlighting the priority deflationary function that alternatives to imprisonment have taken on under European law. The book also features a second section made up of national reports. The latter all have the same structure. They start off by providing an overview of the prison population in the fifteen years between 2000 and 2015. Then follows a presentation of the alternative sanctions or measures in force in the national legal system, broken down – according to the classification scheme proposed here – based on the procedural stage in which they can be applied. The book ends with a chapter dedicated to some conclusions of a “cross-cutting” character drawn on the basis of the overall results of the research and in particular the conclusions of the national reports.
Prison Overcrowding and Alternatives to Detention. European Sources and National Legal Systems