'Communities want to see community leaders helping offenders turn their lives around'
“PCCs welcome the investment in the ‘Community Payback’ scheme. This scheme is an excellent opportunity for the public to get to see justice being done by offenders making a positive difference in their communities.
“We know that communities also want to see community leaders helping offenders turn their lives around in order to break the cycle of reoffending.
“PCCs have much experience working with partners, including criminal justice boards and probation in setting up, funding, and running successful schemes for offenders and ex-offenders. Though unskilled work may have a strong element of visible retribution for the local community, as well as teaching basic soft skills, true value comes from developing those skills that can be carried forward into future work thereby keeping communities safer from potential future offending. Therefore, these plans must also be supported by appropriate investment in education and training to ensure sufficient opportunities are available for those who have been supported to break the cycle of offending.
“It is vital that the scheme undertakes work that will provide positive long-term outcomes for both communities and offenders.
“As PCCs we are well placed to coordinate partners and identify local needs. We look forward to working with our partners in the Probations service and other agencies to deliver this scheme.”