This book sets out to explore the role of community penalties in sentencing, arguing that the absence of a strong intellectual framework or underpinning has hampered their development in policy and practice. The research undertaken for this book involved asking people with a particular stake in criminal justice what the point of punishment was and what the courts were trying to achieve in sentencing offenders. It identifies the role of communication as crucial, and looks at ways in which 'communication' can be used to make punishment more constructive, exploring the role of restorative processes and considering the implications of the custody-community provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Reforming Community Penalties is a major contribution to penological theory and thinking about sentencing and role in criminal justice, and will be essential reading for all with a practitioner or academic interest in this subject. Its findings are likely to play a key role in aiding the development and practice of community penalties, and enabling them to command greater support, and to become a genuine alternative to the increasing use of custody in sentencing and punishment.