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The real picture
SIR – The secret filming of offenders on community payback, shown on ITV1’s Tonight, claimed to expose the truth about community sentences.
However, the facts are that community payback, like the work carried out in Haworth, pictured above, is the most successful order available to the courts in terms of reducing re-offending, with 75 per cent of offenders not offending again within the following the two years.
This compares to a short prison sentence, where only 29 per cent of offenders do not re-offend.
In the last year, West Yorkshire Probation Trust successfully supervised 440,276 hours of Community Payback. This provided more than £2.5 million of community work that would not otherwise have been carried out.
We receive a constant stream of communication from local communities, voluntary agencies and other grateful beneficiaries, thanking our offenders for their hard work and praising their efforts.
The real truth is that the public want offenders to make reparation for their crimes and to see justice in action.
Probation Trusts are dealing with more than 250,000 offenders at any one time in England and Wales.
I would also like to encourage people to have their say on community payback work by identifying projects in their neighbourhoods via the directgov website: direct.gov.uk/communitypayback.
Sue Hall, Chief Executive of West Yorkshire Probation Trust, Cliff Hill House, Sandy Walk, Wakefield