Local projects benefit from community service

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A number of different projects in the Lisburn area have been benefiting from unpaid work being carried out as part of court ordered Community Service.

Volunteer Services Lisburn is the main and most highly utilised placement in the scheme.

Other projects in the city that have benefitted include Cancer Research, Exodus, Glenavy Development Project, Good Morning Colin Project, Atlas, Action Cancer, YMCA and Conservation Volunteers.

Acting Director of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), Cheryl Lamont said: “PBNI works by changing lives for safer communities and Community Service is a key element in our work.

“It is a visible and practical method of ensuring offenders pay something back to the community while at the same time helping them to develop skills they can use in the future which will prevent them continuing in a cycle of crime.

“Community Service is one of the most successful court sentences in terms of preventing re-offending.

“Three out of four people who complete community service do not re-offend within one year.”

Area Manager Christine Hunter added: “Offenders who carry out this unpaid work are able to give something back to communities, make reparation for the crimes they have committed and develop skills to help change their lives away from a cycle of crime.

“Probation Board staff supervise these sentences in a robust manner and if someone breaches their sentence they are returned to court.

“If any community group or member of the public has an idea for a project that offenders could work on for the benefit of your community, they can nominate a project for offenders to undertake at www.pbni.org.uk or you can email us at this address: communityservice@pbni.gsi.gov.uk “

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