Statement on Community Payback

17 January 2016

Statement from Purple Futures on Community Payback in response to reports in Sunday Mirror -17 January 2016:

We employ thousands of probation staff who help to keep us all safer by helping people to stop offending. We are proud of the important job they do, in often challenging circumstances. Sometimes people fall short of the standards required. If that has happened, we need to understand why, and we will take all steps to make sure we understand the causes of any failure. We have therefore commissioned an independent review of Community Payback. Before we became aware of these specific allegations, we had already identified a potential problem with a member of staff working in Community Payback. An offender notified his probation officer of concerns and we immediately suspended the individual concerned. That investigation is still in progress.

Information on Community Payback:

  • Offenders can be sentenced to do unpaid work that benefits the community. This unpaid work is also referred to as Community Payback.
  • Community Payback is an important part of rehabilitating offenders. It offers offenders an opportunity to make a contribution to their local community as well as providing them with skills to improve their employability, while also helping to reduce re-offending.
  • Magistrates or judges can sentence offenders to carry out anything from 40 to 300 hours of Community Payback as part of their order. Offenders must do a minimum of a day’s work – lasting at least seven hours – once a week.
  • All projects combine hard work and the chance for the participant to develop skills. It is also a punishment as the offender is giving up their time to carry out the work.
  • Across our Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs), offenders complete nearly 2 million hours of community payback every year.

See some of our positive stories on Community Payback:

Story 1 – Breathing new life into Salford’s Industrial heritage

Story 2 – Praise for CP work

Story 3 – Offenders achieve qualifications by restoring region’s crumbling dry stone walls

For some months now we have had regular work parties from the Community Payback Scheme working on our churchyard. Many visitors have remarked how much better it is looking. Without this help, there is no way we could keep the area looking as good as we would like for those visiting our churchyard. So, if you do see a group in hi-viz jackets around church, you’ll know why they are there; and we hope they can continue their work over the coming months.