Community Payback can be part of a 'community sentence' and is the term used to describe work done by offenders in the community. The sentence of the court remains 'unpaid work'; which is set by the legislation. A 'community sentence' means that the offender is supervised in the community and in the case of Community Payback has to carry out between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work. This work benefits the community - and means the offenders pay back the community for their crimes by doing tough demanding work. For this reason members of public are encouraged to nominate Community Payback work projects for offenders which will benefit the community.

Nominate a project

Community Payback work projects can include:

  • removing graffiti
  • clearing litter and rubbish from public areas
  • repairing and decorating public building such as community centres
  • clearing undergrowth from paths and other areas
  • working on projects which benefit the environment

Nominate a Community Payback project

About Community Payback

Employed offenders usually work one full day a week which, can include a Saturday or Sunday. Most unemployed offenders are required to work a minimum of 28 hours each week over 4 days, leaving one day for job search. Community Payback can help unemployed offenders gain the skills needed for paid employment and this pattern of work is intended to be like a normal working week.

Community Payback is not suitable for offenders who pose a high risk of serious harm to the public and all offenders are carefully risk assessed before being sent to work placements. Community Payback sentences are strictly enforced and offenders are sent back to court if they are absent without good reason on more than one occasion.

In Northern Ireland an average of 250,000 hours each year are worked by offenders carrying out Community Service.