Combining punishment with changing behaviour and making amends
A community sentence is a tough option. It combines punishment with changing your behaviour and making amends - sometimes directly to the victim of the crime. It can also encourage you to deal with any problems that might be making you commit crime - like drug addiction.
Courts are able to choose different elements to make up a community order which is relevant to you or the crime you have committed.
The range of requirements available within a Community Order are:
Requires you to attend regular appointments with a member of probation staff and undertake work to change attitudes and behaviour.
Find out more about supervision.
You are required to complete between 40 and 300 hours of mentally or physically demanding work in the community, known as Community Payback. It is designed to punish but also to help rehabilitate.
Find out more about Unpaid Work.
Offending behaviour programmes
Group or individual programmes designed to challenge and change attitudes and behaviour that contribute to offending.
Find out more about Offending Behaviour Programmes.
A requirement of at least six months to have treatment to reduce or eliminate dependency on, or misuse of, drugs and to be regularly tested for drug use.
Find out more about drug rehabilitation (in 'What We Do').
A requirement of at least six months during which you are required to attend treatment to reduce or eliminate dependency on alcohol.
Find out more about alcohol treatment (in 'What We Do').
You must remain at a specified place for certain periods (between two and 12 hours in any one day) for up to six months of the order being made. This is normally imposed by the monitoring of an electronic tag.
Find out more about curfew.
Participation in any specified activities
A package of varied activities ranging from day centre attendance to education and basic skills assessment to reparation to victims. The court can order a maximum of 60 days' activities.
Prohibition from certain activities
You must refrain from participating in activities on a particular day or days or during a period of up to three years. Examples include not entering any licensed premises, attending football matches or communicating with a child.
You may not enter a specified place or places for a period of up to two years. This is normally imposed by the monitoring of an electronic tag.
You must reside at the place specified, either an approved hostel or private address.
Mental health treatment
You are required to undergo treatment by, or under the direction of, a doctor or psychologist to improve your mental condition.
You must attend an attendance centre for between 12 and 36 hours with a maximum of three hours each session and one attendance each day. This requirement is given only to offenders aged between 18 and 24.
Breach Of A Community Order
If you breach a Community Order (break the rules) you may be returned to court to face further sentencing.
Find out more about what happens when you break the rules.