An Unpaid Work requirement is work that will benefit other people. This work is to pay back to the community for the harm or damage the offending behaviour has caused. This work is often promoted as Community Payback.
There are lots of different types of work available and an opportunity to work as part of a team and learn new skills. The officer responsible for the sentence will talk to the offender about what will be most suitable, and they will tell you when and where you will be working. PRPT have introduced the new Induction Hub which means that the offender will start work on a Community Payback programme within two days after leaving court. Service users attend for a full day to receive health and safety training and information on rules and regulations.
The Community Payback Team also run an induction programme several nights a week for employed offenders to give them the same opportunity to start their requirement as soon as possible. A further development is that if the offender is out-of-work, they will be expected to complete the ordered hours at a faster rate of between three and four days a week. The work undertaken includes: groundwork clearance, gardening, landscaping, minor building work, painting and decorating.
LRPT have created the LEAF Team. LEAF stands for Learning, Employment, Accommodation and Finance. The LEAF Team is based at the Cobden Street Probation Centre. They work with Leicester College to offer Skills for Life assessments to find out what skills you have and what further work you may need to ‘brush up’ on your reading and maths. We work in small groups. This is not school repeated.
LEAF also offer ESOL classes for those service users where English is not their first language. ESOL stands for “English for Speakers of Other Languages”.Learners attend an initial assessment to determine their ability in 3 areas: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. All learners have the opportunity to take examinations with recognised examination boards.
LEAF offers service users the opportunity to discuss and plan their path back into work. LEAF runs a special work club where you can attend a variety of workshops such as:
- Writing a CV,
- Completing application forms,
- Developing a better telephone manner,
- Learning what to say in an interview, including what to disclose about previous convictions.
- Supporting people into work placements and volunteering opportunities.
- Action Homeless
- Park Lodge Project
- Leicester City Council.
- Accommodation Partnership working is key to finding a home as LRPTdoes not have access its own accommodation. Therefore it is reliant on building partnerships with voluntary and statutory organisations to provide clients with a roof over their heads.
Lifestyle Smart are health trainers. They know the issues that you are offenders and have all been on supervision with the Probation Service or have been in prison. Their remit is to encourage offenders to adopt a more healthy lifestyle.
LRPT work with Leicestershire Cares, a membership organisation for local business which offers a range of two week mentored work placements for service users. Levels of trust has been built up with local employers to persuade them that they have a role to play in making communities safer by employing service users. The approach is to find out the needs of the employer and makes sure that the would-be participant has the right skills and commitment.
Peer Mentor While on supervision offenders may be offered the chance to receive the support of a peer mentor. Peer mentors are ex-offenders or current service users who are doing well on their order and have undergone training to help other men and women on supervision. Peer mentors volunteer in a variety of groups across the Probation Trust, which includes: drugs and alcohol support groups, the special women’s project and the employment and educational programme. These are individual men and women who have first-hand experience of the issues and problems that you are facing. The benefits of peer mentoring are huge.