Community orders, often used by magistrates as an alternative to prison, are laughed at by offenders and seen as a soft option.
A study by Kings College Centre for Crime and Justice Studies says the orders, introduced four years ago, have not cut prisoners numbers and offer no deterrent.
Surely though there are some success stories among the perpetual re-offending.
What do your local police, criminal partnerships and rehabilitation groups say?
Is there a diamond among the rough who has turned his or her life around after completing a community order?