What I do say is that we have got ourselves into a mess on a number of fronts such as a lack of secure prison places, the introduction of Human Rights legislation parts of which have been demonstrated to be counter productive, the decline of personal and collective responsibility and many many more issues. Many of the conditions required for punishment to be effective will not exist in any justice system. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that community service is more effective than another kind of punishment, according to one 2013 Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research study (BOCSAR). Complain about this comment (Comment number 26), "Does community service work? Complain about this comment (Comment number 4). The aggreived continues with this 'punishment' every week for perhaps 45 years. Dec 11, 2014 - A study suggests that Community Service Orders are more effective for reducing reoffending. Read more. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ ersity Press. Complain about this comment (Comment number 74). We will call you to confirm your appointment. I recently had to do 4 weeks of work (160 hours) at a recycling plant, oh and the crime i committed , being unemployed!!!! Those who are given CSOs were found to have a slightly lower rate of reoffending than those who received given a bond – yet more than six times the amount of people received bonds than CSOs. Nonsense.We reap what we sow. Punishment should be just that. The kind of work you are given will depend on what is available in your community and what you are best suited to. Thank you for your comments. A community sentence combines punishment with activities carried out in the community. Perhaps we should try running CS with ex Forces personnel in charge - lets see if that works.Chin chinBoris, Complain about this comment (Comment number 82). Community service fits with the aim of reformation. Whatever next - sending people to prison for the full term of their sentence? Have to say I never thought the day would come when I would agree with The Ghosts of John Galt but what he says in post 34 is quite right. Community sentences are not an alternative to short prison sentences. If ever there was a more true statement which reflects public opinion, it`s comment 78. I have a friend who was in Channings Wood prison and who used to 'shop' from an Argos catalogue from his cell. Their productivity is several times greater than most of the council operatives who I see lounging against their trucks with their hands in their pockets and who clear off home at 3pm sharp every day except Friday, when lunchtime signals the end of their "working" week. I suppose that the reason is that servers have to be overseen while they do their work. Complain about this comment (Comment number 92). Prison should be used only for those offenders deemed to be too dangerous to be allowed to remain in society. I would say it is farily obvious, from the report on the BBC website and comments made by those 'sentenced' to community service, it is a complete failure.The sentence seems to be more of a pass time to most of those charged. Recidivism among people sentenced to community service in Finland. Their productivity is several times greater than most of the council operatives who I see lounging against their trucks with their hands in their pockets and who clear off home at 3pm sharp every day except Friday, when lunchtime signals the end of their "working" week. The rest was taken up drinking tea , lunch and waiting for supervivors to turn up. What makes people so sure that community sentencing works?Does it not occur to anyone that this system of punishment creates a link in the mind between doing work which benefits the community, and punishment? I bet they could make a programme about how bad fluffy pillows are if they tried.As to the question does community service work - well like most things, it does for some and it doesn't for others. There is a whole list a missed `jobs`. Give them new identities and send them to live in Australia away from all the nasty families of the murdered victims and media who hound their every waking moment and what for? The investigation comes as Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke puts forward plans for more offenders to do community service instead of short prison sentences. And if an offence is committed during a CSO, the fact that the offender was on  CSO at the time will be treated as an aggravating factor – which could lead to a harsher sentence than would normally be imposed. surely the measure is "does it reduce re-offending, when compared with prison? Any working system requires dedication and money. I was a CSV once, of my own volition, and it certainly wasn't easy. It seems to work quite well in this area. Clearing litter or sweeping roads is not serving people; it's serving communities. What the authors want is that is not the inclusion of community service as a form of punishment but the authors want the successful and effective implementation of community service as a form of punishment under the code prepared by the legal acumen of Macaulay. But have you ever wondered just how effective community service is, and whether it is just a lenient punishment that achieves very little? While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. there was a time when kids used to play 'kick the tin'in the twilight hours of autumn,an exciting time for kids before responding to the call for bedtime,that was then when days and nights were clad in cotton wool and people loved each other without any ill feeling or bawling the kids down because of their heaven sent happiness.If a kid makes a noise today,heaven is shut down,and all the tins are selected for recycling,and community service is marked up for down grading the local village and the green is seldom used to encourage young life to be happy.The mood of the nation is below the norm and if to play music is a paupers dream,and happy hour means the pub,what on earth has any kid done to deserve the harsh treatment of joining the chain gang? But the four experimental centres failed to have any impact on re-offending and were criticised for simply turning out fitter criminals.So expensive and didn't work. Complain about this comment (Comment number 49). Maybe one day we will have legislators who have the skills and knowledge to propose legislation that deals with petty crime effectively, it's the minimum we should expect for our own peace of mind and fears. Complain about this comment (Comment number 53). Funny, lol! The Director of BOSCAR, Don Weatherburn, believes that although the difference in reoffending rates may be small, the difference is probably larger than what the figures suggest. What could be better is the supervision of these people. 59. We are hamstrung by idiotic notions of 'human rights' for people who clearly have no regard for others' human rights....A look at documentaries of other countries (including the US) show prisoners in cells with multiple prisoners, no TVs, no playstations, no pandering.Can anyone, please, tell me why we shouldn't have that here? Do they really need locking up in some already overcrowded prison so they can learn new (criminal) skills? This community service scam is the thin end of the wedge. Complain about this comment (Comment number 12), Community service works as well as a chocolate tea pot, Complain about this comment (Comment number 13). Complain about this comment (Comment number 47). Yes and no....it is an ideal way to ensure that those who commit minor offences give something back to the community. Does Community Sentencing work?That surely depends entirely on the individual. Google Scholar. Then let her do community service where she can drink her tea and smoke her joint among criminals and see how she likes it. Complain about this comment (Comment number 32). Chewing gum and graffiti removal. However, for offenders in work, we should consider that imprisonment would mean them losing their job. Complain about this comment (Comment number 52). For community service to be effective those undergoing it must be required to work hard, and they must be closely supervised. Muliluvuori, M.L. And where does life begin if not in the heart and mind of a kid in the street? I think it should be used more especially for a first offence, but I think the amount given should be increased. However it is not without problems. Punishment without walls: Community service sentences in New York City. Reforms Suggested. Community service is a non-paying job performed by one person or a group of people for the benefit of their community or its institutions. i have recently completed some unpaid work and I can confirm everything what the programs shows it true. Jail should be the penultimate deterrent, the sort of place that even the hardest of hard men never want to go back to and not a Holiday Inn witha fence. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT???????? Complain about this comment (Comment number 23). You can stay up to date with Have Your Say via these feeds. This is because not all those who reoffended are caught, as much crime goes undetected or unsolved. Is it that fundamentally, you just get off on the idea of punishment, pain, retribution etc., even when it would make things worse, not better? Mmmmm! Complain about this comment (Comment number 79). CSOs are not a slap on the wrist: they come with a criminal record and breaches are treated very seriously. but something for them to do in the daytime. Complain about this comment (Comment number 50). There is little point in spending a small fortune locking people up if all it does is confirm them in a life of crime. The point about community Service is that we don't have enough prison places for the number of custodial sentences we already give out, so it is fairly pointless wanting to reduce them and make the prison situation even worse. He's serving his community service in a town charity shop, from what I understand how he performs is completly up to the person signing his community service forms. Let the government take a bite out of her life at the loss of her job, home, family and loved ones.. Let her as well be forced to live on the streets with nothing, and doing anything to stay alive. Its place is now taken by the A bigger population needs more jails. For a start its alot less cushy than prison. That makes you hardly different from the criminals, doesn't it. They will always make things out to be the worst they can. I tried to get one to clean my high windows a coupleof years back but was told that only bodies of people (eg councils, companies etc) could be accommodated. Undercover footage of criminals drinking tea and smoking illegal drugs has led to criticism that community service is like a "holiday camp". "A year-long study of the first cohort that went through the programme, which was founded in Massachusetts in 1991, found that only 19% had reoffended compared with 42% in a control group.". Why do they keep on lying? Unfortunately, we don't have one. To learn more about other criminal penalties, offences and information about the criminal justice system, visit our regularly updated blog. Yes the current confrontational system will create polarisation not intergration...Polarisation as with many other conflicts in the world will empty the taxpayers pockets before any good will come of community service.They sound desperate? Only by giving them some investment in a project will they learn how it feels if it is then vandalised, damaged or broken.Projects have to be worthy, and hard work. I thought it was a bit stupid that they were washing cars as a community service as this is normally something that generates money for car wash owners in the private sector. Firstly there is no bail system, monetary fines for petty crime must be paid either by the criminal or his family before he is released. Therefore, in appropriate cases the court could ask their employer to demote them, thereby keeping them in work but at a lower salary and appropriate loss of prestige. really lol! We did complete some good work for the community but much more could be done. The types of offences punishable by CSOs have rapidly expanded over the past two decades or so. Much more imagination needs to be used in punishment for the rest. Which of course should be a civil debt in the first place,you wouldn't be sent to jail for not paying your Sky subscription! Community sentences if you are under 18 Overview You may get a community sentence if you’re convicted of a crime by a court but are not sent to prison. The probation service does not seem fit for purpose? In fact, any breach can lead to the CSO being revoked and a sentence of imprisonment being imposed. Complain about this comment (Comment number 34). Pussy-footing around with trendy liberal ideals won't wash. There should be a bank of people on community service where say an elderly person can call and get someone round to fix the garden for example. I visited Burma on business a few years back and found first hand what happens if you are convicted of a criminal offence. Well certainly in the three areas highlighted by this documentary it seems not to be working. It is obvious that we have a judiciary that are frightened to send people to jail for any sort of meaningful sentence, even after all of the last governments promises to crack down on crime. Unlike now where they have a TV games console, internet etc.Prison should be a punishment and not the cushy number it is now, Complain about this comment (Comment number 19). Our problem: we are far too soft, namby-pamby, touchy-feely, politically-correct, run-home-to-mummy, ambulance-chasing & pathetic.Easy option (favoured by the political elite): throw money at them and offer thugs help and support because they are victims of society. Complain about this comment (Comment number 44). Complain about this comment (Comment number 15). This debate has now been closed. Many offenders given a community sentence must also abide by strict curfews or … It seems to me, and correct me if I am wrong - but community service is designed as a form of punishment which entails, predominately unemployed petty criminals, being forced to do essential or useful work for the community - to teach them a lesson,and as a negative consequence of their actions in breaking a law! Does community service work?Can the BBC not get the figures as to reoffending rates, as compared to prisoners, from the relevant office? Is Community Service an Effective Punishment? Post 53..So why does USA with a population 5 times that of the UK have 35 times as many people in prison?Because they are not so soft on crime.Who cares what the % is.Just lock them up for longer or for good, criminals would soon get the message.Because re-offending is so high, doesn't that tell you something.How many more committees do we need looking into this, its not rocket science. Complain about this comment (Comment number 35). “Community punishments are effective – often more effective than short prison sentence. The tonight programme is sensationalist. ;-) Only because I am "I", Complain about this comment (Comment number 97). What happens if you're given a community sentence or community service. It is important for all concerned with criminal justice to be singing from the same hymn sheet and I get a strong sense of hearing a very off key song. In a sense it may work for probation officers who do not seem to have very much to do; but for the victims of crime it is a stout boot in the teeth. One of those who made a comment suggested that individual people should be able to acquire the services of a community server. Anything less is simply creating problems for the future. Every person who receives some form of Government help via food stamps, unemployment checks, free housing, medical etc should be made to contribute to society via service to the society in form of voluntary physical contribution. Then lets see what she has to say. Should there be wider use of community service rather than using short prison sentences? A breach of a community sentence can trigger an instant prison sentence. This system of 'work' for punishment, has been designed by the same groups in society that constantly complain that our 'unemployed' do not possess a positive attitude to work or have no work ethic!! The BOCSAR study compared the reoffending rates of defendants given good behaviour bonds to those given CSOs. Complain about this comment (Comment number 31). At 01:09am on 03 Sep 2010, devilzadvacate1 Why thanks for agreeing with my rational approach! 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