A DVD has been launched to coincide with Inside Justice Week 2010, to show how Community Payback operates in Stoke-on-Trent.
Each year over 140,000 hours of Community Payback are completed by offenders as part of community sentences given to them in Magistrates and Crown Courts. This equates to about £812,000 of services provided to communities as offenders pay back for the crimes that they have committed.
The DVD has been produced as part of the Justice Seen Justice Done campaign, organised by the city council’s Neighbourhood Justice Coordinator, Graeme Drayton, along with Her Majesty’s Court Service, Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust, and Staffordshire Police.
The DVD features explanations from a local magistrate about how Community Payback sentences are administered and how breaches are dealt with, and from a probation officer who provides examples of the sort of work that is carried out by offenders as part of this scheme.
There are also accounts from members of the community who have benefited from the work done by offenders and from an offender themselves detailing what the effect of this sentence has been on him. Overall, the message is that this is not a soft option as an alternative to prison and this it produces worthwhile benefits for both offenders and for the community.
Members of the community have the right to know what it means when an offender is given a Community Payback order, the importance of justice in Stoke-on-Trent being visible in this way cannot be overstated.
It is only right that when people offend against communities that there should be some kind of service provided to those they have wronged. If public confidence in the Criminal Justice System is to be maintained, it is vital that people are able to see for themselves how, where and when Community Payback is being carried out.
The DVD is going to be distributed widely throughout Stoke-on-Trent and can be viewed below.
For more information about Community Payback and to find out how the public can nominate a project to be undertaken by offenders, people can telephone the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust on 0121 248 2688 or they can access information online by visiting Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust using the link below.