Belfast Telegraph

Call for community service ideas

The public is being urged to suggest projects for offenders to work on as part of changes to community service in Northern Ireland.

The Probation Board (PBNI) has set up an online nomination form for people to recommend worthy initiatives.

The move comes after the board announced that victims of crime would be given a say in how perpetrators spent their community service hours.

Terry Doherty, Assistant Director of PBNI said: "Community Service is the most successful community sentence in Northern Ireland in terms of preventing reoffending.

"Three out of four people who complete community service are not reconvicted in two years. It has the lowest reconviction rate of all community sentences in Northern Ireland.

"Community Service projects currently include clearing rubbish and overgrown vegetation from community areas, gardening, cleaning graffiti and painting and decorating work.

"The public now have an opportunity to make nominations for the work that offenders undertake. Community Service will also be undertaken for victims and victim groups."

The idea is part of the PBNI's revised Community Service Strategy which aims to give victims' views a place in the criminal justice system and extend partnerships with the voluntary, community sector and develop links with district councils.

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