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LEARN MORE ABOUT COMMUNITY SERVICE SENTENCING

Community service is a sentencing option that provides many benefits to the court, the participants and our community at large.

WHAT IS COURT-ORDERED COMMUITY SERVICE

Courts can sentence individuals to perform community service hours as a condition of community control (probation), as a sanction or in lieu of financial sanctions such as fines and fees. Community service is uncompensated work at a non-profit or governmental organization that provides services to the community or its citizens. Agencies must agree to accept the offender; work must be supervised and documented in writing; and within a reasonable distance from an offender’s residence unless transportation is provided. CCS staff ensure that placements meet these criteria and agency work sites provide safe and appropriate work assignments so that clients can successfully complete their community service requirements.

WHY USE COMMUNITY SERVICE SENTENCING

 

  • It provides the court with an option for indigent and low-income offenders unable to pay fines, costs, and fees.

 

  • It can be used as an effective and immediate sanction.

 

  • It enhances probation by requiring offenders to demonstrate responsible behavior.

 

  • It offers a cost-effective alternative to expensive jail time.

 

  • It is restitution to the community.

 

  • It makes productive use of an offender’s “free time.”

 

  • It is flexible and can be scheduled around an offender’s work, school, or family obligations.

 

  • It exposes offenders to positive role models in their community.

 

  • It encourages empathy to others through service to the community.

 

  •  Some clients continue to volunteer at, or have been hired by the agency work site, after completing their community service.

CCS HISTORY

Court Community Service (CCS) was created in 1985 through a grant from the Cleveland Foundation. Under the leadership of Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Ronald B. Adrine (retired), CCS was formed to provide area courts with a cost-effective, efficient means to administer community service sentencing thus encouraging judges to utilize it as a sentencing option knowing that a formal system to place clients, monitor progress and verify compliance would be available to the court through CCS.

What began in 1985 with fewer than 500 referrals from Cleveland Municipal court and surrounding suburban municipal courts has grown to include Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court receiving over 4,000 referrals annually. In addition, CCS operates numerous supervised work crew programs that provide litter collection along public roads and provide assistance to charitable and governmental organizations throughout Cuyahoga County.

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