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Community service use increased by 40 per cent in 2011

Minister Alan Shatter said community service reduces expenditure on prison services and requires offenders to make recompense for their crimes.

Image: Martin Mejia/AP/Press Association Images

THERE WAS A 40 per cent increase in the total number of community service orders made last year, a new report showed.

According to the Probation Service Annual Report 2011 the number of community service hours ordered increased from 303,210 in 2010 to 420,836 in 2011.

Commenting on the report, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said, “It can been seen that many probation interventions provide an opportunity for offenders to repair the harm done in their community by their offending behaviour.”

There was a 17 per cent increase in the total number of years that would have been served as an alternative to community service last year.

“Community service benefits local communities, reduces public expenditure on prison services and requires convicted offenders to make recompense for their crimes,” said Shatter.

During 2011, the Probation Service dealt with over 14,000 offenders in the community with almost 4,000 offenders aged between 18 and 24.

There were over 2,000 orders for supervision made last year, 65 of which were for life sentence prisoners in the community.

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