Rioters will be forced to help clean up the areas they have damaged and "look their victims in the eye", Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will say.
Those who are not sent to jail for their parts in last week's violence and looting will be set to work in the streets affected.
The initiative is designed to force the perpetrators to face up to the consequences of their actions and prevent first-time offenders getting sucked into a cycle of crime.
The Ministry of Justice will be instructing probation officers to recommend Community Payback sentences - to be served in riot-hit areas - in non-custodial cases.
There will also be a drive to bring offenders face to face with victims who have had their lives turned upside down by the disturbances.
Announcing the move in a speech, Mr Clegg will say he wants "punishment that sticks" so that the rioters "change their ways".
"Victims of crime are only truly protected if punishment leads to criminals not committing crime again. Criminals must be punished and then made to change their ways," he will say.
"That's why those people who behaved so despicably last week should have to look their victims in the eye.
"They should have to see for themselves the consequences of their actions and they should be put to work cleaning up the damage and destruction they have caused so they don't do it again.
"We want people to be punished for their wrongdoing. We also want them to stop doing wrong. We want their future behaviour to change. We need punishment that sticks."