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Definition of concepts

Alternative penal measures
Consist of complying with obligations or treatments imposed upon the author of an offence by a judge or court as an alternative sentence to prison internment. Alternative penal measures are based upon the situations outlined in the Penal Code of 1995, as judicial settlements that can provide a response to the offence in a less afflictive way than prison internment. Some of these alternative penal measures are work of benefit to the community, appearance before the Administration, participation on training programmes, internment in psychiatric centres, etc.

Methodological aspects

The introduction of the new penal Code, on January 1, 1996, led to the classification of convicts on the basis of a new typology of offences, which will coexist alongside the classification used in the previous Penal Code. For statistical purposes it should be noted, however, that each convict is only classified for one offence, always the one for which the convict has received the toughest sentence.

Data is provided on the penal courts that were created to take responsibility for judging and sentencing less serious offences. This also includes the activity of provincial audiences. The information is completed with data on the prison population on December 31.

Unavailable information is represented using the symbol ":". When the value is lower than that of the minimum unit to be able to estimate the statistical operation or if it effects statistical confidentiality, the symbol used is "..".