About Your Sentence

Community sentences have been proven to be both punishing and effective in reducing crime and this makes them much more appropriate for some offences.


For many offenders, Community Orders are tougher than a prison sentence because you will have to face up to the consequences of your actions in the community. They may also allow you to keep your job, retain family ties and your home – all crucial factors in preventing reoffending.

If you are sentenced by a court to a Community Order or a Suspended Sentence Order, you will usually be seen by probation staff working at the court, who will explain the terms of your sentence. They will tell you which probation office to report to and arrange your first appointment, either with your offender manager or with the nearest Community Payback unit.

You must keep this appointment or you risk being returned to court.

At your first appointment you will meet your offender manager, who will explain the details of your sentence and give you a list of appointments.

If you have been sentenced to carry out Community Payback, you must wear suitable clothing. We will provide high-visibility jackets and any other specialist protective clothing you may need such as gloves or a hard hat.

You are expected to report to the Community Payback office yourself but we will provide transport to the work site if this is in a different location.