New approach to Community Payback
16 Jul 2012
A new approach to Community Payback that aims to reform the sentence radically was announced today as SERCO, in partnership with London Probation Trust, is preparing to take over its delivery for the first time.
From October this year SERCO and London Probation Trust will run Community Payback across London, helping to more effectively punish and reform the 15,000 offenders who receive the sentence each year in the capital. The penalty sees offenders visibly paying back to their communities through appropriate work, including tough physical work clearing-up local Ďgrot spotsí.
The innovation and capacity of the private sector in a new partnership with the Probation Service will help to reform the sentence so it better tackles reoffending, commands public confidence and delivers greater value.
The new four-year London contract will save taxpayers £25 million and ensure:
- offenders begin paying back within seven days of sentencing;
- better links with communities so offenders pay back in the area, or even street, their crime was committed in;
- unemployed offenders pay back over four full days a week; and
- swift, robust action is taken against offenders who misbehave or fail to attend.
This is the first time a major area of probation work has been opened up to the private sector through a competitive bidding exercise. This ran over the last 12 months and saw a variety of bidders come forward with proposals. It also represents a milestone in a broader Government drive that will see more public services opened up to competition.
A public consultation into the future of the Probation Service closed last month and will set out plans to compete Community Payback across England and Wales along with the management of low risk offenders.