Community service is ordered as part of mandated sentencing or in lieu of payment of fines and fees, in some cases. The theory behind court-ordered community service is that mandating low-risk offenders to perform community service offers more benefits to society than incarceration of those offenders. The community benefits from the work that the offender performs and avoids the cost of incarceration while the offender benefits from a lesser sentence and, it is hoped, rehabilitated.
In our small community, the judge may allow an offender to choose the type of community service they wish to do and will give him/her a list of organizations that are approved by the court. If an offender wants to do community service at a location other than what is on the court list, he/she will have to first get it approved by the court prior to performing the community service.
It is important to understand the consequences for failing to fully perform the court's required service. Don't let a judge's demeanor or the fact that you received a lighter sentence fool you. Failure to meet the sentencing requirements could lead to imposition of the harsher sentence or even a finding of criminal contempt of court. If you're found guilty of criminal contempt, this can become a separate sanction from your underlying case and can therefore put in place additional punishments beyond those you're facing in your underlying case.
As a court-ordered community service worker, you agree to:
~ Show up on time and be sober
~ Dress in appropriate attire for the assigned tasks
~ Be responsible for maintaining time log on a daily basis and submitting to the court as required
~ Accept that a no call, no show is grounds for termination of community service
~ Notify community service contact at least 8 hours in advance when sick and/or unable to work