What’s better than jail for misdemeanors?

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As we all know, the Court will pass the sentence according to law.  A sentence may include either one or more of the following: 1.imprisonment, 2.fine, 3.Whipping, and 4.Death punishment.

In Sabah, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum said that sentencing a serial offender of minor offences to community service has proven to be a more effective deterrent than sending them to prison.

Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Former Chief Justice of Malaysia & Former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak

The chief justice said that punishment has worked in Sabah due to the public shame rained on the perpetrators of misdemeanors and encouraged judges elsewhere to try it out.

There is a provision in the Criminal Procedure Code which allows punishment through community services for non-severe offences and this should be used.

The Criminal Procedure Code (“CPC”) provides for the imposition of a community service order on youthful offender in lieu of custodial sentence or a fine. A youthful offender is defined as one who is above the age of 18 and below the age of 21.

The term “community service” falls within the Ministry having charge of women, family and community and is defined to mean any work, service or course of instruction for the betterment of the public at large and includes, any work performed which involves payment to the prison or local authority.36

He also added that on top of being a successful step to discourage repeat offenders, community service is able to solve the problem of overcrowding at prisons under the current penal system.

He said, judges and judicial officers were being encouraged to consider imposing community services instead of imprisonment to offenders in appropriate cases.


Datuk Joy Appukuttan, Community Service: The Alternative Form of Sentencing, https://mahwengkwai.com/community-service-the-alternative-form-of-sentencing/

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