Justice Minister Nick Herbert to visit community payback scheme in Kettering

Corby, Danesholme Estate, Partners from Corby Borough Council, Northamptonshire Police, Community Payback and the Youth Offending Team join to tackle environmental issues and focus on safer routes around the estate. 'l-r Craig Spence (Neighbourhood Manager), Chris Stanbra  and Jimmy Noble  with Simon Allen (probation worker) and community payback worker. 'Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Corby, Danesholme Estate, Partners from Corby Borough Council, Northamptonshire Police, Community Payback and the Youth Offending Team join to tackle environmental issues and focus on safer routes around the estate. 'l-r Craig Spence (Neighbourhood Manager), Chris Stanbra and Jimmy Noble with Simon Allen (probation worker) and community payback worker. 'Tuesday, 13 September 2011
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Justice Minister Nick Herbert will visit Kettering to see criminals carry out community work.

The minister will see offenders carry out unpaid work for the Revital-Ise conservation project, which is restoring the River Ise in Kettering, on Monday.

Kettering MP Philip Hollobone invited the minister to see the community payback scheme after the Telegraph revealed Northamptonshire Probation Trust had the lowest re-offending rate in the country.

John Budd, interim chief executive of Northamptonshire Probation Trust, said, “As well as giving something back to communities affected by crime, these new arrangements are intended to help bring structure to offenders’ lives, helping them acquire a stronger work ethic through punctual, regular attendance and encouraging offenders back into the routine of hard and meaningful work.”

“Community Payback has a history of delivering local projects that have provided significant benefit to local communities across Northamptonshire.”

Last year 1,331 new unpaid work orders were made through crown and magistrates courts in the county. Community payback delivered 118,183 hours of unpaid work by offenders in the county – equivalent to more than 61 additional full time posts working directly for the benefit of local communities at a value of nearly £720,000, based on the current national minimum wage, and nearly £2 million in the last three years.

The community payback unit has been engaged in a number of Revital-Ise projects, including restoration of Wicksteed water meadows and Wicksteed Park lake restoration.

The visit comes as the Ministry of Justice continues its consultation on a number of proposals to make community sentences and their delivery more demanding, robust and credible and to cut re-offending by addressing the causes.

It proposes introducing a punitive element to all community sentences. One of the options is community payback, where unemployed offenders with unpaid work requirements will have to work a minimum of 28 hours over four days, with the fifth day spent looking for full time employment.