The legislature yesterday passed an amendment to the Criminal Code (刑法) to allow prison sentences of six months and under to be served through community service.
The amendment to Article 41 stipulates that those who do not commit a “major” crime and are sentenced to a maximum of six months in prison can apply to do community service instead.
Six hours of community service is equivalent to one day in prison under the amendment, which requires that the total number of service hours exchanged for jail time be served within a year.
Those who fail to complete the community service within one year will be obliged to serve their jail term. Those who are in poor health will not be allowed to choose community service.
Meanwhile, legislators also passed an amendment to the Military Criminal Code (陸海空軍刑法), allowing supervisors to impose administrative punishment for military personnel who are found guilty of a criminal offense by a military review panel.
The offenders can be given demerits, have their salaries reduced or lose their jobs.
The military is allowed to impose the punishment before a court hands down a final verdict in a criminal trial.
The amendment does not apply to military personnel who have been previously disciplined for the same offense.