10/12/2008

Justice Minister Continues Funding Support For Community Sentences Project

Further funding to fight local crime has been developed with the Community Sentence (LCCS) project making an agreement with Justice Minister David Hanson MP for the next year to support the work they do to engage with local communities.

The project provides talks to local public groups by a probation officer and magistrate, giving valuable insight into how community sentences are effective in punishing the offender, cutting re-offending and paying back to community.

Speaking at the LCCS annual awards ceremony David Hanson said: "I want to ensure that the public have confidence in community sentences and understand what they involve and why they are effective in keeping crime down in their communities.

"We have a shared duty to challenge misconceptions about community sentences and need to overturn the belief that any sentence that is not prison is some how a lesser alternative.

"Community sentences are often more effective at cutting re-offending that a short term prison sentence.

"We are working hard to put this message across and welcome the commitment of other organisations in this role. The LCCS carries out important and innovative work that demonstrates and promotes community sentences as a vital part of a healthy criminal justice system."

LCCS is a project that aims to raise awareness of the effectiveness of community-based sentences. It does this by giving interactive, case-study-based presentations to local community groups.

Recent statistics show that frequency of re-offending for community sentences have fallen sharply by 13%.

That's why in March the Ministry of Justice announced £40m to further support the probation service so that magistrates have tough community sentences that will punish offenders at their disposal.

(JM)

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