The Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company designed and implemented a unique order for men aged from 18 to 25 who have committed an offence which carries a jail sentence of less than 12 months. It is called the Intensive Community Order (ICO).

ICO tackles the ‘revolving door’ problem associated with criminals who complete a short-term prison sentence, commit another offence not long after being released and then end up back before the courts. The cycle then starts all over again in a revolving door of crime.

ICO was launched in 2009 as a two-year government pilot in Manchester, and was originally called the Intensive Alternative to Custody order. It proved so successful at reducing reoffending rates that it was then rolled out across Greater Manchester.

ICO’s aim is to offer a community-based intervention that helps reduce the harm that ‘revolving door’ offenders cause to the community, and to support their rehabilitation. It involves an intensive range of activities with a group of partner organisations, led by Cheshire & Greater Manchester probation. Our partners include police, voluntary and private sector organisations.

Under the ICO, an individual will be:

  • supervised by probation at least twice a week
  • supported by a mentor who helps them access schemes such as training, education and assistance in writing a CV
  • subject to 30 hours per week activity
  • reviewed by courts
  • faced with swift sanction for non-compliance

In addition, an individual on an ICO may be:

The ICO sentence lasts from between nine months to two years and most will involve undertaking up to five requirements out of the 12 available.