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Community Payback

Community Payback in action

Community Payback or Unpaid Work is one of the requirements that can be included in The Community Order.

All offenders on Community Payback are screened to assess the risk they may pose to the public, and are closely supervised at all times. They will have to perform between 40 and 300 hours of unpaid work.

Community Payback is a punishment, but also aims to teach offenders new skills and introduce them to a working environment.

How does it work?

Offenders sentenced to Community Payback have to turn up for work at least four days a week (unless they are in full time employment or education).

There are a wide range of Community Payback projects, many suggested by local communities. These can be carried out in a number of different ways, but in each case offenders must fulfil their hours and can be returned to court if they fail to attend.

Supervision by West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company

  • Groups of up to eight offenders go out to work with a probation supervisor and carry out a range of projects including litter picking, clearing, gardening, painting and decorating and more.
  • The nature of the work can vary from day to day.
  • Offenders are allocated their day's work when they sign in each morning.
  • They are taken to the site where they are supervised by trained Community Payback staff.


  • Organisations are trained to supervise offenders on behalf of West Yorkshire CRC.
  • Organisations take individuals or small groups of offenders to work alongside paid staff to do a range of tasks including gardening, clearing, painting and decorating, furniture refurbishment etc.
  • An offender is allocated to an organisation and does similar work with them each day. If successful an offender will continue to work with the organisation until they complete their hours.
  • Offenders go straight to their place of work and the contracted organisation monitors their attendance and work.
  • If an offender fails to attend, probation staff will step in to take action.

Individual placements

  • Individual offenders work with an organisation in a specific role.
  • Work can vary from placements in charity shops, cafés, youth hostels and shops.
  • If successful, the offender will continue to work at the placement until their hours are complete.
  • Only low risk offenders, who have been risk assessed, are able to work on individual placements.
  • If an offender fails to attend, probation staff will step in to take action.