(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Apr. 20 (Petra) -- About 491 convicted individuals sentenced to imprisonment on misdemeanors had their sentences replaced to community service in the past three years, 264 of whom are currently serving it out, according to official data.
Figures released by the Ministry of Justice, and obtained by the Jordan News Agency (Petra), showed that in the first three months of 2021 Jordanian courts handed down 74 sentences on misdemeanors, which were replaced with community service under the social reform alternatives that were approved by Jordanian legislators nearly 4 years ago. Out of the 74 sentences, 60 are being served, it added.
Legal amendments to the Penal Code, under Jordan's reform process, authorized courts, based on marital status and the consent of the convicted person, to suspend the original sentence and replace it with one or all of the social reform alternatives.
The law defines community service as obligating a convicted person to perform unpaid work to serve the community for a period determined by the court (between 40 and 200 hours), provided that the work is carried out within a period not exceeding a year. Community monitoring takes place for a period determined by the court (between 6 months and 3 years).
The amendments were approved in 2017 by adding "Article 25 repeated," stipulating community reform alternatives, and "Article 54 repeated," which stipulated the conditions for its implementation. Through these two articles, the court has the authority, when ruling on a felony or misdemeanor or a crime with an imprisonment period of less than a year, to suspend the execution of the sentence, in accordance with the provisions and conditions stipulated in this law, if it considers that the morals of the convicted person, his past, his age, or the circumstances in which the crime was committed, gives rise to the belief that he will not violate the law a second time.
The amendments took into account that law violations are sometimes committed due to rage or erratic behavior, making these penalties beneficial to society and the convicted, who may be the breadwinner of his family, so that his livelihood will not be cut off.
To implement the social reform alternative, the Justice Ministry signed memoranda of understanding with several institutions, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Endowments, Youth, Education and the Greater Amman Municipality, taking into account gender and people with disabilities, and providing alternatives in accordance with their needs.
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