Community Programmes Awards

News release

7 July 2011

Best Community Programmes win prestigious National Award

Leading projects shows that community sentences can work, can reduce reoffending and can change lives

Eleven programmes have won a Howard League for Penal Reform award for their outstanding work to reduce crime out of record number of over 100 entries.

Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye and television personality presented the award at a conference and a ceremony in London. The conference also heard about the future of the criminal justice system from Crispin Blunt MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice.

The community programmes awards were launched in November 2005 as part of the Howard League for Penal Reform's aim of increasing public and government support for community sentences. These annual awards celebrate best practice in community sentencing and champion the cutting edge of the criminal justice system, with work in the community that challenges and changes people for the better – be it unpaid work, drug and alcohol treatment programmes, or restorative justice.

By finding outstanding community programmes that work with individuals who have committed crime, it is hoped that the Community Programmes Awards will not only celebrate success but also promote positive practice in the delivery of community sentences. We believe that well-resourced and well-structured programmes will raise public protection, bringing down the rate of reoffending, and repay the damage done by crime in a way which custodial sentences cannot.

Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, said: “The Howard League for Penal Reform is recognising the country’s most successful community programmes at our Community Sentences Cut Crime conference. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote excellence in our criminal justice system and praise the people who bring down crime in their area.

“The winners of our Community Programme Awards are beacons of best practice and a key example of how hard working professionals can succeed with those who have committed crimes and help them turn their lives around. It is by emulating examples like these that we can build an effective criminal justice system for the future.”

Also speaking at the event was the Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP; Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology & Social Work, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow; Paul McDowell, Chief Executive, Nacro; Frances Done, Chair, Youth Justice Board for England and Wales and Frances Crook, Director, The Howard League for Penal Reform.

Further information

Sophie Willett 0755 334 5522

ISDN line available - uses a G722 system

The Community Programme Awards 2011 were presented on Tuesday 6 July at a ceremony at the King’s Fund in Central London.


The awards reflect the inspiring range of work being carried out across the criminal justice system. We have introduced award categories to properly reflect this, including:

Adult Category

Swanswell’s reducing drug-related offending programme (runner-up)

Choices & Consequences (C2) Programme, Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Probation Trust (winner)

Women Category

Platform 51, Cornwall (runner-up)

Women's Community Project, The Cambridge Centre (winner)

Children and Young People Category

LINX, The Hampton Trust (runner-up)

Rally Round, South Tyneside Youth Offending Service (winner)

Education, training & employment category

Bridge to Employment - Thames Valley Probation in partnership with Milton Keynes, East Berkshire Colleges and SOVA (winner)

Oldham YOS ETE Toolkit, Positive Steps Oldham (runner-up)

Unpaid Work

Preston Clean Streets Partnership (runner-up)

Avon and Somerset Trust/Severnside Rail Partnership (runner-up)

North Lanarkshire Council, Restorative Justice, Community Payback (winner)

The judging panel comprised:

  • Professor David Wilson (Chair), Birmingham City University and Vice-chair, the Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Ruth Cadbury, Barrow Cadbury Trust
  • Baroness Linklater of Butterstone
  • His Honour John Samuels QC
  • John Thornhill, Chairman, The Magistrates' Association
  • Steve Wagstaffe, Director of Offender Management, NOMS Yorkshire &Humberside
  • Sarah Whillance, Youth Justice Board (Children and young people category)
  • Young people (Children and young people catgory)