El castigo en la España del siglo XXI: cartografiando el iceberg de la penalidad

The debates around popular punitivism in Spain have focused on the Penal Code's legal reforms over the last 25 years, which have harshened penal responses to crime. Additionally, scholars have resorted to the rise of prison population and prison rates as a sign of overuse of the criminal justice system. However, these studies are not enough to reveal a complete picture of the sentencing alternatives used by judges, which includes suspended and substituted prison sentences that do not appear in official statistics. This paper contributes to this debate by presenting the descriptive results of a study on the judicial application of the sentencing alternatives. Contrary to the collection of official statistics, this paper considers the discretionary decision to suspend and substitute prison sentences, presenting a more complete picture of sentencing in Spain. The results of this research show judges resort considerably to alternatives to prison, in a context of overall growth of the criminal justice system ​
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