Community service as a mode of punishment in Uganda

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Kampala International University, School of law
According to the Community Service Act of 2000 Cap 115, Community Service means non-custodial punishment by which after conviction, the court with the consent of the offender makes an order for the offender to serve the community rather than undergo imprisonment. This study investigated the challenges for judicial officers ordering Community service as opposed to imprisonment or custodial sentences in Uganda. The specific objectives of the study were: To analyze the theories and types of punishment in relation to community service sentencing in Uganda; to review the existing legal and institutional framework on community service in Uganda; and to make a specific inquiry into the challenges facing in the implementation of community service in Uganda. The significance of the study was to provide relevant background information on community service sentence as a penal reform measure that would benefit members of academia and other researchers who intend to carry out similar or related research in this area by availing this study in the library and various internet websites and also build on the existing body of knowledge of community service sentencing by judicial officers in the bid to mitigate congestion, reduce expenditure in the already health, human and finance constrained Uganda prisons services. The study found out that placement institutions are determined by courts, the supervisor under the current form of Community Service Act can’t take any action against the convict in case of defaulting the sentence but rather reports to court. The dissertation also discovered general salient challenges that are faced in the implementation of community service that included among others, ignorance about the law by some stakeholders, insufficient supervision and monitoring and negative attitude and poor enforcement of the programme, shortage of manpower, lack of motivation to workers implementing the sentence, corruption, plus poor supervision at the placement institutions. The study recommended that the placement institutions for offenders should be determined by the probation office, government should allocate a budget to local governments and establish community service’s advertising system and proposed the amendment of Community Service Act to increase powers of the supervisors to offenders performing community service sentence.
A dissertation submitted to the school of law in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of master of laws Kampala International University
Community service, Punishment, Uganda