Community service is the alternative to sending charged criminals to our already overcrowded prisons. Community service has been proven to also be more effective to stop repeat offending than being put behind bars. It also works out for the taxpayer and government as it’s cheaper overall.

Types of community service

Community service often include:

Anyone carrying out a community sentence will be working in their local area and would be supervised by a local officer. They’d also be expected to wear a high visibility vest while working.

In accordance with the sentence, the number of hours performed can be between 40 and 300. Depending on the employment status of the sentenced – the number of days worked can vary.

Partnering programs

The government will also offer partnering programs that help to deal with issues that may have led to the crime happening.

These include drug addiction, mental health conditions or new skills training.

The program can include aspects such as counselling sessions, drug testing, improving reading and writing skills, help with a job application, taking part in the restorative justice program.

Restrictions

During sentencing, the court can rule restrictions during the sentence.

These can include a curfew, wearing an electronic tag so your location can be identified, appointments with a manager, restrictions from a certain area such as near the victim’s house, restriction on certain activities such as going to bars and being told where to live.

What crimes received community service sentences?

Crimes such as damaging property, petty theft, assault, shoplifting or benefit fraud.

Often if the court thinks that community service would do better than prison in making sure the crime isn’t repeated, they will choose the community service instead.

If it is a first-time offender, the court I most likely to rule for community service.

Or if there is a mental health condition affecting the behaviour of the charged then this can also be used.

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