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Northumbria Probation Area

Image:Unpaid workspacerNational Probation Service logo


Unpaid Work Image: An offender working unpaid in Cowgate, Newcastle

Unpaid work is one of the sentences which judges and magistrates can make as part of a community order. It involves offenders doing compulsory work which is demanding and directly benefits the community.

We closely supervise offenders when they are working in the community and carefully assess them to make sure they don’t pose any risk to the public. They must complete between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work which is specified by the court.

This work helps offenders pay back the community for the harm or damage their offending has caused. It also gives them the opportunity to improve their basic skills. This may help them gain employment and also learn vocational and life skills, which can reduce the likelihood of reoffending.

There are lots of different types of unpaid work available, for example, graffiti removal, clearing litter, redecorating buildings and gardening. Each offender must work at least 6 hours per week and finish the requirement within 12 months.

If you know of a project in the community where offenders could work unpaid under probation supervision, you can put forward your suggestion through the Community Payback Scheme.

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