Legislation / Legal
MoJ: Steps to toughen up the physical work offenders carry out on community payback have been outlined by Justice Minister David Hanson. From 1 September anyone convicted of a knife-related offence who is unemployed and sentenced to the maximum 300 hours of community payback from the courts will complete their sentence in intensive blocks of up to five days a week. This will mean more intensive labour for all those knife offenders who are not in work across all 42 Probation Areas.
A pilot will also run to see if this sort of intense work could be rolled out to all types of offenders given community payback. West Yorkshire will trial a programme for all offenders receiving 200 hours of work from the courts doing this intensively in 6 weeks. The government claims that this will represent a significant loss of liberty and free time for many people with work taking place five days per week and continued ‘tough consequences’ for not turning up.
Mr Hanson also highlighted that more offenders are currently 'paying back' the community through work at weekends when they expect to have free time, with 74% of community payback programmes running on either Saturday or Sunday.