Community Work Service for Adult Offenders

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Community service Pages: 5 (1686 words) Published: February 12, 2011
Community Work Service with Adult Offenders

The focus is on Community work service as an alternative sentencing. Community work service allows the offender to contribute to the community. This type of work can be considered a win-win situation, because the offenders provide the service and the community benefits from their work. There are all kinds of work activities for offenders. The points that are going to be addressed are: community work service, probation officers, taxpayers, overcrowding and the benefits each party gains. It can be concluded that community work service is here to stay. Hence, it can be seen as a second chance to repair the damage done by making right out of wrong.

Community service is when someone performs an action which benefits his or her community. However, community work service can be a form of alternative sentencing. The offender is ordered by a court or probation officer to perform community work service as part of a sanction. Through community service, offenders are offered the chance to “give back” to the community by providing a service that enriches the lives of others. “The offenders are placed into unpaid community service positions with non-profit or tax supported community agencies” (Cook county, 2006). The probation officer carefully monitors the offender’s progress by checking with the agency, ensuring that the offenders is regularly reporting to complete the hours, as well as monitoring the offenders' attitude and quality of work. The probation officer is also responsible for reporting any negative incidents to the court in an effort the hold the offender accountable. Community service is a form of restorative justice, which involves victim, offender, and community. “Criminal justice is asset of institutions and procedures for determining which people deserve to be sanctioned because of their wrongdoing and what kind of sanctions they deserve to receive” (Clear, 2003). Community work service allows sentences to more closely fit the circumstances of certain offences, and ensures that adult offenders are held accountable to the community for their actions. Hence, alternative sentencing is, applied to offenders whose absence of prior criminal history or general characteristics indicates that they can be trusted not to abuse their greater freedom. “Community work service is punishment that takes away an offenders time and energy” (Schmalleger, 2009). Restorative justice is the concept that any crime, regardless of size or severity, hurts the community. Instead of merely paying a fine or spending time in jail, the offender is able to repair some of the damage done by participating in community service. “There is a need to understand who or what is being restored, including the core values of healing, moral learning, community participation, community caring, respectful dialogue, forgiveness, responsibility, apology, and making amends” (Sieh, 2006). The work assignment gives both the community and workers a chance to benefit from the experience. All offenders participating in the program are supervised by personnel at the sponsoring agency and by probation officers.  “within the community justice frame work, the need to establish enduring partnerships with citizenry, other agencies, and local interest groups is critical to the success of probation” (Sieh, 2006). There are all kinds of work activities for offenders. Examples of work placements include:

* Agencies offering services to senior citizens or the handicapped * Hospitals
* Highway cleanup
* Parks maintenance
* Skilled labor (carpentry)
* Landscaping
* Painting
During probation, offenders must stay out of trouble and meet various other requirements. Probation officers, who are called community supervision officers in some States, supervise people who have been placed on probation. “Probation officers supervise offenders on probation or parole through...
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