Justifications of community penalties and the role of the probation officer — remarks on the background of generic community penalty in Poland and England and Wales
In Poland in the last years the provisions regulating the content of both the penalty of liberty limitation and the manner of its implementation were significantly changed. In 2015 the penalty was converted into generic penalty. Generic community penalty also exists in other countries, including England and Wales. Unlike Poland, the introduction of the penalty to the English criminal justice system was preceded by multiannual and multidirectional changes in the areas of justifications for community penalties and the model of probation activities. In the last decades the changes resulted from the adaptation of community sanctions and measures to current trends in the criminal policy, such as managerism, punitivism and ‘new resocialization’. At the same time, the traditional role of the probation officer connected with the offender support and help on the basis of mutual trust was remodeled.
In England, generic community penalty is a coherent element of the criminal justice system. In Poland, the legislator did not provide courts with a broad scope of information about the accused person which would allow the purposeful choice of components of the generic penalty. As a result, in the Polish criminal justice system the generic community penalty seems to be based more on the intuition of judges than on bright and clear principles of its imposition.