A new government-funded scheme, in which low-level offenders will swap tough manual labour for a prison presentence, is being piloted in Scotland.
The move will see offenders taken from the dock, assessed and ordered to work with a community payback team.
Criminals will work under the supervision of community service and social work staff. The team will be responsible for allocating each offender to a community reparation project.
The move was announced by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and will be run at Glasgow Sheriff Court.
MacAskill said on the BBC website: "We want to see low-level offenders out paying back communities by doing some tough manual labour."
"Whether it is cleaning streets of graffiti, renovating elderly care homes, restoring fallen gravestones or - as we saw during the recent severe weather conditions - helping to clear pavements of snow, these offenders should be repaying their dues to communities they have harmed."
Statistics released in 2010 by the Scottish government showed the number of people who re-offend within two years of a conviction has reached its highest level in 10 years.
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