A Day in the Life of a Community Sentence
Community Sentences are intended to be demanding and onerous which is why some offenders would prefer a short custodial sentence which gets it ‘over and done with’, but which unfortunately has no constructive or rehabilitative elements.
A Community Sentence can have a variety of requirements set by the magistrates, and which must be fulfilled. These could include supervision, drug rehabilitation, an accredited group work programme, unpaid work, an electronically enforced curfew and/or an education, training and employment requirements. For those who are mentally ill or addicted to drugs or alcohol there may be additional requirements.
Unlike a short prison sentence the Community Sentence could go on for up to 3 years and requires continual commitment and provides constructive measures to alter the offender’s behaviour. The Community Sentence will also have significant element which focuses upon the impact of the offender’s crime upon the victim.
Below is a typical weekly appointment schedule in the early stages of an 18 month Community Sentence. It involves supervision (18 months), a drug rehabilitation requirement (12 months), an unpaid work requirement (150 hours), and a curfew order. This weekly schedule includes two mandatory drugs tests, and the curfew order restricts the offender who has to remain at his home address between the hours of 7 pm to 7 am. This is based upon a typical schedule as delivered by Criminal Justice Drugs Team within Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Service.
In this case the level of contact is maintained for the first 16 weeks of the sentence and it will continue if the offender continues to pose a high risk of re-offending. However, if significant progress is made and there is no police intelligence of offending, then contact levels will be gradually reduced.
The offender is considered in breach of their order after two unacceptable absences and they will be brought back before the court.
|Monday||10:00||Session with Education, Training, Employment Worker||14:00||Session with Offender Manager|
|15:00||Session with Police Caseworker|
|Tuesday||10:00||Session with Drug Treatment Worker (including Mandatory Drug Test)||12:00 – 15:00||Foundation Group for Drug Rehabilitation|
(Police Caseworker/Offender Manager)
|13:15 – 16:15||Recovery Group (Drug Rehab)|
|Thursday||09:00 – 17:00||Unpaid Work Placement|
|Friday||10:00||Session with Drug Treatment Worker|
|Saturday||11:00||Weekend Reporting/Drug Test|