What Is A Community Order Penalty Criminology Essay

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In regards to the risk in which Mr B he sits on a high community order penalty, as he is in need of rehabilitation but also to reduce risk of re- offending. Prison would not be a suitable punishment for Mr B as there is overcrowding and the more people there are in prison the less resources that prove an effective purposeful activity. It is clear that the offender has an anger management problem, as he has a pervious related offence. Therefore Mr B with receive a community order which constitutes of Controlling Anger and learning to manage it course for 12 weeks, Supervision, and unpaid work for 150 hours.

The Lord Chief Justice has said that short spells of imprisonment followed by re-offending is an expensive and ineffective way of dealing with the large number of inadequate or damaged members of society for whom minor criminality is the only way of life they know: 'Meaningful punishment in the community, coupled with a proper programme of rehabilitation, properly resourced and managed, must be the better option' (Phillips, 2006).

Section B Effectiveness of Unpaid work

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An unpaid work requirement is one of the 12 requirements that can be included in a community order, it can also be known as Community Payback. Unpaid work requires offenders completing compulsory work to the benefit of the community. Before work can start all offenders are screened for the potential harm and risk they pose to society, and are closely supervised at all times. The requirement can be as low as 30hours and a maximum of 300 hours payback, which all depends on what they have been sentenced to complete. Although unpaid work is imposed as a punishment, it may also have rehabilitative elements to it as it incorporated other aspects like skills for life provision. As community payback involves lots of intensive supervision, it can provide unique opportunity to each offender's new cognitive and practical skills which can inevitably keep the offender from re-offending. The supervisors of community payback are trained to act as positive role models and to encourage the offender to develop pro-social behaviour towards other people the wider community and also their attitudes towards work. This requirement for learning suits the offender better than any other traditional teaching methods as the offender has the chance to learn new skills in a real situation which cultivates problem solving, interpersonal and employment-related skills. The development of these new skills is key if the offender is to be reintegrated back into society. As with all community sentences, Community Payback is closely monitored, and if any offenders breach the rules will return to court. http://www.nyprobation.org.uk/community_punishment_order.asp

Despite all the overwhelming evidence that that courts are not using community orders as fully as they might as alternatives to short prison sentences (REFERENCES to back up) Between 2005 and 2006 the number of people starting court-ordered supervision increased by 11percent, which has lead to a trend in the courts now issuing more community orders. The government want judges to use community sentences than sentencing people to short term imprisonment; however this has not happened on the scale in which they had hoped.

Overcrowding in prisons was becoming an issue, therefore, The Advisory council on the Penal System 1970, set a task to expand on the non-custodial disposals but also introducing some form of community service in which adult offenders would undertake unpaid work in the community (Newburn, 2003).

A Background Paper published in May 2007 aims for a 'greater use . . . of the best community sentences to punish and rehabilitate persistent offenders' but this is not happening as much as it could (Ministry of Justice, 2007a: 3). One important reason may in part be a perceived lack of confidence in such sentences on the part of sentences and the wider public. Certainly the Lord Chief Justice took the view at the end of 2007 that 'neither all sentences, nor the media and the public are persuaded that non custodial sentences are effective' Phillips, 2007). Sited in (Allen, 2008)

Over the past couple of years, the purpose of unpaid work has changed in nature and focus in England and Wales, starting from punitive, rehabilitative, reintergrative and then reparative potential (Mclvor, 1993). The community punishment order was relatively short-lived, with the Criminal Justice Act 2003 had a renewed emphasis of 'paying back' the community and therefore replacing it with unpaid work as a condition of generic community order. The Carter report 2003 emphasised the visibility of community punishment. This was then reflected in July 2005 as 'visibility pilots' in six probation areas, which then expanded to other probation areas across England and Wales. Visible unpaid work is now one out of three elements of the national strategy for unpaid work, which is aimed at ensuring that the work undertaken by offenders should be recognisable by the local community. The visibility strategy was taken forward alongside the Home Office three-year Community Sentences Communication campaign (McIvor, Raynor, 2007).

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The RED and Home Office have worked together on a three year campaign to promote a positive public profile of the work of the criminal justice system. The main aims of the project were to promote a positive public profile for community sentences by making them more visible to the community, with this then came the better understood and supported as an effective alternative to custody; and to demystify the role of the criminal justice system and open it up to the public.

The campaign illustrated the distribution of 'WOW' sheets of information about sentencing, which highlighted the direct benefits of such community sentences to the local communities. The work also entailed the public to vote on what project they wish the offenders to work on in 'clean up weeks'.

Complementing this has been the Probation Service's own visibility campaign, designed to increase public awareness of unpaid work. In July 2005 Hampshire, Durham, Kent, Merseyside, London and Suffolk first piloted the visibility campaign preparing strategies on Visible Unpaid Work and Community Engagement, arranging high profile launches with media coverage and enabling members of the public to contact probation areas, using websites, email as well as telephone and post to nominate unpaid work projects.

As a result of award programmes for recognising excellence in community and the supervision of offenders for unpaid work can obtain positive media coverage, which will benefit the local community. Individual and community groups can now engage in practical initiatives such as the Home Office 'clean up week' and in discussions about community sentences and which they think the offenders need to work on. It has been estimated that up to 38 per cent of unpaid work placements are nominated by the public (Allen, 2008).

The lessons that were learned from the six pilot areas underpinned the national rollout of Visible Unpaid Work from November 2005 (Allen, 2008).

There is some evidence that the quality of community service experience for offenders may be associated with reductions in recidivism. For example, Mclvor 1992 found that reconviction rates were lower among offenders who believed community service to have been worthwhile. More positive experiences of community service were found among thouse whose work placements were characterised by high levels of contact with the beneficiaries, opportunities to acquire new skills to work that was readily recognisable as having some intrinsic value for the recipients.

Although rehabilitation is not widely held to be an explicit objective, it has been argued (e.g., Bucknell, 1980) that for some offenders the experience of helping others in less fortunate circumstances may have a positive impact on their future attitudes and behaviour (Mclvor, 1993). McDonald (1986) studied a sample of 676 men performing community service in 1983. Among the participants only 14 percent had be terminated by the court. The results show that the sponsors praised the offenders highly for their work. However during a period of 180 days, 43percent had been rearrested for a non-violent crime and charged. Therefore, McDonald concluded that community service did no better than jail in reference to re-arrests, and although community service is no panacea, it seems to be worthwhile because the offenders get more out of labour and taking pride in the work they have done, with the added extra that unpaid community service is cheaper than incarceration (Davis, 1991) Leibrick, Galaway and Underhill (1986) found that the offender did not enjoy the work and one out of four did not finish their placements. However Brownstein, Jacobs and Manti (1984) found that 82 percent successfully completed their sentence.

According to Perrier and Pink (1985) claimed that community service integrates the offender back into the community and that it can be used at atonement for offenders with strong guilt feelings as it provides a more humane environment than prison, and the public can see that justice is being not, behind prison walls they cannot (Davis, 1991).

On the extent to which a community orders achieve other sentencing outcomes aside from the reconviction, there seems to be a lack of available information and evidence. However The National Audit Office has identified a number of positive indicators that unpaid work does have some short term impact. Rather than to reduce the likelihood of re-offending unpaid work is generally used by the courts for punishment and reparation (NAO, 2008)

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Unpaid work needs to be sufficiently demanding in order for people to think that it is being implemented correctly.

Probation Inspectors noted that only 63percent of unpaid work placements are said to be suitably demanding for the offender. A comparison group of offenders who did not receive s community order intervention were obtained and monitored, to control the variable of other factors in the offender's lives, and to make sure that the positive result was due to community order. If however there is an absence of such a control group, and the given paucity of the data that have been collected on the outcomes of community orders. The findings are presented as early indicators of possible benefits, however, the results are not collected from a large enough sample as to generalise them or be statistically significant. (NAO,2008) The Inspectorate of Probation found that seventy three percent of unpaid work placements are to the benefit of the community and a good standard of work had been carried out to the beneficiaries. Moreover (Allen & Treger, 1990; Godson, 1980) discovered that the beneficiaries of the unpaid work projects were supportive of the work that had been undertaken in their communities from the offenders An example of this is that a considerable amount of organisations working with the London Probation, 99 percent to be precise, said they would use the service again. There is some evidence on the effectiveness of unpaid work. NOMS data 2004 show 37.9 percent of offenders sentenced to unpaid work had been reconvicted within two years after sentencing, compared to a predicted rate of 43.5 percent (National Audit Office, 2008)

All the studies mentioned in this essay have revealed that community service or unpaid work offer many benefits to the offender, the community and the criminal justice system. Unpaid work has proven to be a viable sentencing option, seen through the evidence presented above. However, more research is needed particularly with methodologies, for example, time series analysis and multivariate statistical analysis. It has also been noted that much evidence is mainly based on the male population; it would be interesting to compare male and female to see if there are any differences.

The effectiveness of other requirements is difficult to measure given offenders individual personal characteristics and the intangible outcomes that can be achieved. The NAO commissioned a review of available literature on the effectiveness of requirements used in community orders. Since there is little literature available on the effectiveness o requirements used in the UK, they broadened the search to other The results found significant gaps in available research and the need for more high quality studies to determine which intervention are most effective in reducing reconvictions (National Audit Office, 2008). Even though community service and unpaid work do have some punitive aspects, it should also be thought as a rehabilitation. After all, society may have to live with offenders for infinity, and any type of treatment that enhances the integration of the offender into the community is worth pursuing.