Alternative Punishment as a Suitable Alternative to Imprisonment


  • Lýdia Lešková Faculty of Theology Košice, Department of Social Sciences Catholic University in Ružomberok Hlavná 89, 041 21 Košice, Slovakia
  • Lenka Haburajová Ilavská Faculty of Humanities Tomas Bata University in Zlin Štefánikova 5670, 760 01 Zlín, Czech Republic
  • José García Martín Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology University of Granada, Department of Sociology Calle Rector López Argüeta s/n, 18001 Granada, Spain



alternative punishment, quantitative survey, monetary sentence, restorative justice, house arrest, compulsory labor, community service


Aim. The philosophy of alternative punishment is based on keeping the convicted person free, while imposing a punishment that will act preventively against committing another felony. The paper focuses on perceiving the importance of alternative punishment as part of restorative justice, and on presenting the results of the questionnaire survey which aimed to identify the public´s preferences in the context of various forms of alternative punishments as an option, instead of imprisonment. Attention is paid to three alternative punishments, specifically: community service, house arrest, and monetary sentence (fine).

Methods. The questionnaire survey aimed to find out what forms of alternative punishment are, according to the respondents, a suitable alternative to incarceration. The survey sample comprised of Slovak individuals (N=1078) aged from 16 years and older, thereof 31.3% men (N=337) and 68.7% women (N=741).

Results. Based on the analysis of the data collected from the 1078 respondents´ answers to the individual questions in the questionnaire, community service was identified as the most favorable alternative to imprisonment, whereas the least preferences the respondents gave to the option of monetary fines.

Conclusion. The concept of alternative punishment is understood as a form of punishment that fulfills the purpose of a sentence, without deprivation of freedom, but still guaranteeing the fulfilment of a court-ordered unconditional retribution. Compared to traditional forms of punishment, alternative methods of resolving judicial cases do not enforce repression and prefer the individual approach to punishing the accused (convicted) persons with emphasis on corrective aspects of alternative punishment. The results of the survey showed that the respondents strongly prefer one form of alternative punishment, namely the community service.


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Author Biographies

Lýdia Lešková, Faculty of Theology Košice, Department of Social Sciences Catholic University in Ružomberok Hlavná 89, 041 21 Košice, Slovakia

After graduating from the Faculty of Economics, University of Agriculture in Nitra, in 1988 Leskova started working at a primary school in Spisska Nova Ves. Between 1994-2003 she worked at the district offi ce in Gelnica affairs division. In 2002 she graduated from the University of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Faculty of Social Sciences and Health in social work program. Since 2005, she is associate professor at the Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Theological Faculty in Kosice, Department of Social Sciences. In her teaching and publishing activities she is devoted to social and legal protection of children, social care and social work with marginalized groups. She is a graduate of accredited education: Social and psychological training, Training of supervisors in social work, Preparation of social counselors, Training of social skills trainers, Facilitation, Development of life skills of cooperation and competition, School of Family Finance.

Lenka Haburajová Ilavská, Faculty of Humanities Tomas Bata University in Zlin Štefánikova 5670, 760 01 Zlín, Czech Republic

She currently works at the Faculty of Humanities of Tomas Bata University in Zlín, T.G. Masaryka 5555, 760 01 Zlín Czech republic. Regarding her pedagogical work, she particularly focuses on teaching of social work, social services and social politics. She is a member of scientific committees at both domestic and foreign international conferences. She is also a member of editorial boards in different publishing houses and journals. In terms of science and research, the reviewer also actively participates on many international and domestic scientific and research projects.

José García Martín, Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology University of Granada, Department of Sociology Calle Rector López Argüeta s/n, 18001 Granada, Spain

Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Granada since 0ctober 2011, currently teaching Concepts, Theories and Methods in Sociological Research and Introduction to Social Change. He has also organised and directed a Seminar on Søren A. Kierkegaard since 2012, as well as various international events on this author, such as the bicentenary of his birth (2013). He is President of the Hispanic Society of Friends of Kierkegaard (S.H.A.K.), of which he was its promoter and co-founder (2007). He holds a PhD in Philosophy with distinction Cum laudem (2007) and Extraordinary Doctorate Award from the University of Malaga (2012). All his research work has been (and is) related, directly or indirectly, to the work and thought of Søren A. Kierkegaard, of whom he wrote his thesis The Doctrine of the Individual in the Diary of Søren A. Kierkegaard. As a result of this research work, he studied the Danish language in order to be able to translate the original texts of the distinguished Dane. He obtained an official certificate in Danish from the University of Copenhagen (lower intermediate), after receiving a scholarship from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a course at the University of Copenhagen (1996). Research fellow at The Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College, Northfield (Minnesota, USA), in August 2009 (Summer Fellow Program). He has also been at the Department of General and Applied Ethics, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovak Republic (September 2010 and February 2019). At this faculty he received the commemorative medal in recognition of his international research work at an international congress held there in 2010. Current lines or focuses of research: Individual and society in Kierkegaard. The socio-epistemic problem of knowledge: ideology, communication and education. Ideology and utopia as factors of social change.


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How to Cite

Lešková, L., Haburajová Ilavská, L., & García Martín, J. (2022). Alternative Punishment as a Suitable Alternative to Imprisonment. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 13(2), 39–54.