pay (one's) debt to society

(redirected from pay their debt to society)

pay (one's) debt to society

To serve the sentence given to one upon conviction of a crime. In the eyes of the law, he has paid his debt to society, so he shouldn't be facing any further punishment for his past crimes. I spent nearly 15 years in prison—I paid my debt to society!
See also: debt, pay, society
References in periodicals archive ?
It is the way that people pay their debt to society.
Immigrants too often must rely for their defense on public defender systems, which are overwhelmed, underfunded, and often unable to resolve criminal charges through more constructive avenues such as drug treatment, community service, and training, which could allow immigrants to pay their debt to society and reintegrate as productive members.
A GROUP of offenders have helped pay their debt to society by destroying a drugs den next to a primary school and a church.
Kaine is acting on political motives, but even if he were, his actions affirm a truth that all but a few states have accepted: Felons who pay their debt to society should not be denied the right to vote.
"Nobody is suggesting that women who commit crime should not be expected to pay their debt to society, but I believe that there are much more effective ways of doing it."
The penal term originated for the purpose of having prisoners pay their debt to society. Now, the poor must pay their debt to society and then pay for their keep to pay their debt to society.
Loan sharks should pay their debt to society by serving very long prison sentences.
Niki Lee, community service manager, said: "These offenders have been sentenced by local courts to do a number of hours community service in order to pay their debt to society.
It is a massive failing in our society when prisoners feel they don't have to pay their debt to society.