Government in talks with 'several leading charities' over delivering community payback scheme

The Probation Service is in talks with several major charities about delivering its community payback scheme, and is seeking more.

The Canal and River Trust was this week named as the first charity partner to work with the government as part of a national plan to force criminals to take part in unpaid work schemes.

The Ministry of Justice said the charity’s involvement in the scheme marked the first of a number of national partnerships the government intended to develop to help grow community payback, known as unpaid work, over the next three years.

A spokesperson told Third Sector yesterday that the MoJ was in discussions with “several leading charities” interested in the scheme and encouraged others to express their interest. It did not reveal the names of the organisations it was holding discussions with.

Guidance from the government describes community payback as “where offenders work on projects to pay back the community for their crimes” with tasks such as removing graffiti, clearing wasteland and decorating a community centre.

The work must also benefit the local community, not take paid work away from others and not make a profit.

A spokesperson for the Probation Service said: “Discussions around national agreements are ongoing with several leading charities and arm’s-length bodies and we are keen to hear from others that would be interested in exploring how community payback can support them.”

Interested organisations can submit their interest and access more information here.

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