One such item was saying that the public (whoever they are) think that offenders who do community service get an easy ride. The paper did at least stop short of adding "....they should lock them up and throw away the key" - I guess that is more The Sun or Daily Mail style.
I personally think that for minor offences, community service is a much better method than imprisonment.
1. the person puts something back into their community which they have damaged in whatever way.
2. they don't get locked up with hardened criminals and come out of prison worse than they went in.
3. it could be the step they need out their previous life, who knows.
4. they pay for the offence in work and the 'shame' of everyone knowing why they are there.
taken from the above linked article
Coincidently, I then went on to read an article for my OU course on Restorative Justice. That is, when instead of going to court, the offender and the victim meet and agree between them (with a facilitator) what steps can be taken to repair the harm or damage the offender has done. In some countries this method is used for crimes up to and including violent / sexual crimes, whilst in others it is limited to minor offences.
Yes I know that exclusion from society is a standard punishment, but with prisons full to bursting and the costs of keeping prisoners spiralling, I cannot see why 'the public' (many of whom are also 'the taxpayer' who pays for the prisons), can't see that in some cases an alternative method might be preferable. Part of the idea of Restorative Justice is the shaming of the person's behaviour, within the community, and this is considered more likely to reduce re-offending than a prison sentence.
Maybe I just don't always think the same was as 'the public'...