Justice Minister Nick Herbert said the hard labour he saw from criminals during a visit to Kettering should be sufficient to prevent further offending.
Last month, the MP saw criminals building a path next to the River Ise, in Kettering, as part of unpaid work ordered by courts as part of a community payback scheme.
He was invited to see the work being carried out by local MP Philip Hollobone after the Telegraph reported Northamptonshire Probation Trust had the lowest re-offending rate in the country,
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Mr Herbert said: “I am grateful to Mr Hollobone for inviting me to Kettering to see that scheme.
“They were working hard constructing a path alongside a river, which will be of huge value to the community and would not have been constructed but for that work.
“That shows that we can make community payback an effective and meaningful punishment on behalf of the community.
“The offenders were wearing fluorescent jackets to identify them as people doing work on behalf of the community.”
Mr Hollobone also spoke during Parlimant yesterday, thanking the Minister for coming to the town.
The project, carried out in conjunction with Kettering Council and the Environment Agency, involves up to 10 offenders undertaking unpaid work to improve an area which was once overgrown with weeds and flooded regularly.
The project will improve public accessibility to an area of land along the River Ise and contribute to a wider scheme to revive the river and its surrounding environment.
The work is part of a robust community sentence called ‘intensive community punishment’ run by the probation trust.
The package of punishment can include unpaid work, curfews, tags and the newly introduced foreign travel bans.