Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Make more use of community service judges urged

Fewer people are being sentenced to community service and are serving jail terms instead largely because newly appointed judges and lawyers are unaware of the system, the House human rights committee heard on Monday.
There are 250 locations across Cyprus such as parks, volunteer organisations and libraries where people can serve community service as an alternative to being behind bars, committee chairman Sophoclis Fyttis said.
Although the option has been available for 10 years and is being used, the numbers have fallen.
In 2014, 448 people were sentenced to community service, a figure which fell to 353 in 2015, according to Fyttis.
This is due to new judges simply not passing down this sentence while lawyers are unaware of the fact they can request community service instead of a prison service for their clients, he added.
“Beneficial work comes of this. Those that are supervised (when doing the service) benefit as do their families,” Fyttis said.
The chairman recommended more funds go towards the Pancyprian Volunteerism Council so more people could supervise those sentenced to community service.

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