- Authors Soojin Kwon, Cheonhyun Lee, Gwanghyun Rah, Jaeil Yi, Yoonoh Cho
- Date December 31, 2021
「ACT ON SPECIAL CASES CONCERNING THE EXECUTION OF FINE DEFAULTERS’ COMMUNITY SERVICE WORK」 was enacted and has been in effect since September 2009. The purpose of this Act is to prescribe special cases and procedures for the execution of community service work as an alternative to the custody of fine defaulters in workhouses under Article 69 (2) of the Criminal Act so as to promote convenience for those unable to afford fines for economic reasons by minimizing the custody of such fine defaulters in the workhouses.
However, there were not many FINE DEFAULTERS’ COMMUNITY SERVICE WORK, contrary to expectations. Accordingly, the Ministry of Justice raised the subject of FINE DEFAULTERS’ COMMUNITY SERVICE WORK permission in 2020 from those who failed to pay a fine of 3 million won or less to those who failed to pay 5 million won or less. In addition, they expanded the criteria for judging the economic ability of the applicants from 30% or less to 50% or less of the standard median income in 2021, and to 70% or less in 2022. Despite this, the number of applications for Fine Defaulter’s Community Service Work has not increased significantly, and there are a number of cases where their permits have not been completed and their permits have been revoked. In this regard, this study presented several proposals for the efficient operation of the Fine Defaulter’s Community Service Work based on a review of the current practice.
1. Improving the procedures of Fine Defaulter’s Community Service Work
(1) In order to minimize the situation of not being able to apply for the Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work, it is necessary to stipulate in the law that a person who has been sentenced to a fine must be notified of the Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work system. It is reasonable that the notice is given by the prosecutor at the stage of issuing an execution order for the fine.
(2) It is necessary to establish objective criteria for economic ability in relation to the application for Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work by law so that the person who has been sentenced to a fine can clearly see whether he or she meets the requirements for the application.
(3) It is necessary to specify and stipulate in the law the objective criteria for determining the reasons for the restriction of application and for Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work and the reasons for requesting the revocation of permission.
(4) It is necessary to review the Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work application/permission system in order to prevent the same recipient from being permitted to perform Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work consecutively in one year.
2. Improving the execution of Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work
(1) The unit price of Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work was raised from 50,000 won for 8 hours a day at the time of enactment of the law to 100,000 won in 2019. In general, however, considering the amount and intensity of social service work at welfare centers, comparison of wages of skilled workers in the human resources office, equity with the minimum hourly wage in Korea, and the general public's sympathy, the current unit price for Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work for 8 hours a day is 100,000 won is appropriate.
(2) For the person subject to community service work - in order to exclude negative influences such as criminal learning - a plan should be prepared so that they can be separated from other social services in the whole process.
(3) It is necessary to expand flexible execution in parallel with weekday and weekly executions when it is unavoidable for non-payment of fines due to parallel with work life or maintenance of livelihood. To this end, it is necessary to prepare and expand the probation office's own working facilities, to expand manpower, and to discover and cooperate with various cooperative enforcement agencies.
(4) Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work must be completed within 6 months from the date of permission (extension of 6 months is possible in special circumstances). However, in reality, the six-month execution period is rather short due to the sending of a judgment from the court and preparation and execution of community services work. Considering that the number of eligible applications for community service work is to be expanded in the future, it is necessary to extend the period of execution of community service work from six months to one year.
(5) In consideration of the purpose of the Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work, which was prepared for the people who cannot pay fines for economic reasons, it is recommended to selectively provide lunch and transportation expenses in the form of vouchers such as meal tickets or transportation cards to those who do not pay fines according to their economic condition.
3. Activating the Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work
(1) The cooperative execution rate is much higher than the direct execution of Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work. In order to secure cooperative institutions, it is necessary to actively promote publicity activities such as holding a policy briefing session on Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work at local governments, public institutions, and welfare facilities, and posting on the local government's website.
(2) Compared to the increase in the number of fine defaulters, the number of Officer in Charge of Execution of Community Service Work has not increased significantly. Considering that Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work is expected to be expanded in the future, as the number of people subject to community service work increases, the number of officer in charge of execution of community service work must also be increased.
(3) Considering the purpose of the introduction of the system of suspension of execution of fines, such as prevention of the custody and alleviation of economic burden on the common people, it is necessary to enable suspension of execution even in summary procedures.
Through the efficient operation of the Fine Defaulters’ Community Service Work proposed in this study, it is hoped to minimize the custody of fine defaulters in workhouses, thereby solving the problems of criminal learning and family severance, and polarization of punishment and inequality due to economic inequality, to stabilize the lives of subsistence criminals, to solve the overcrowding of correctional facilities, and to reduce correctional costs.
- 벌금대체 사회봉사의 실태와 효율적 운용방안에 관한 연구(22-AB-01).pdf (2.72MB / Download:36) Download