Community Sentencing

Community sentencing is a method of punishing criminals that includes demanding physical work as well as the removal of certain liberties and free time. Community sentencing is by no means a soft option and courts are given the opportunity to punish offenders while also offering a means for them to reform. There are 12 requirements to community sentencing and courts treat each case separately, combining a number of these requirements to produce a community sentence tailored specifically to the individual offender.

What Is Community Sentencing

Community sentencing isn’t just a means of punishment and reform, as it also benefits the local community. It is meant as a means for offenders to pay back the community for the crime or crimes that they have committed and this may include unpaid manual labour as well as a combination of other requirements.

Unpaid Work – Community Payback

Community Payback is the replacement for what was once called Community Service and more recently titled Community Punishment. Offenders serve between 40 and 600 hours working on community based projects. Local residents can have their say on the projects that offenders should work on while those that are not judged to be safe to work in the community will be required to fulfil their Community Payback in Probation Service managed workshops.

Community Sentencing Supervision

Generally speaking, at least one member of the Probation Service, known as an Offender Manager, will supervise any activities undertaken as part of a community sentencing order. However, it is possible for the Probation Service to delegate this supervision to a relevant individual that can offer the necessary support for a specific task or specific requirement of community sentencing.

Other Community Sentencing Requirements

The Community Payback unpaid work is only one possible requirement of a community sentencing order. Depending on the crime committed, the severity of that crime, and other details of the individual offender, it may be necessary for him or her to attend specific activities, reform based activities and meetings, and drug, alcohol, or mental health treatment sessions. The offender may also be required to meet a curfew and may be prohibited from visiting certain areas of the community.

Punish And Reform

The aim of community sentencing is to punish and reform offenders. Punishment comes in the shape of unpaid work while attending counselling or treatment for drug or alcohol use is undertaken in a bid to help the offender reform and change their ways. Another aim, specifically of the Community Payback project, is for the offender to pay the community back for the crime or crimes that they have committed.

Nominate A Community Sentencing Project

One of the great features of community sentencing is that offenders are required to work within the community to repay their acts. As a local resident you have the right to nominate a project or to view other nominations and vote for the one that you believe offenders should work on first. You can nominate or vote by visiting your local Probation Services website and casting your vote.