Community Service Program
The Community Service Program provides the means for youth to be assigned to work without compensation for a specified number of hours of service in a non-profit community organization or agency. The Community Service Program was started by the Juvenile Probation Office (JPO) in 1998.
Placement in the Community Service Program serves as a tangible consequence for a juvenile's delinquency through which they are held accountable and responsible for his or her actions to the community in which they offended.
To the fullest extent possible, service assignments will be sought that provide age appropriate, meaningful work opportunities for the participants. By providing the opportunity to have the juveniles interact with others, gaining a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from the service they perform, the potential benefits of the assignment are maximized.
The majority of the juveniles supervised by the JPO and the Youth Commission Program are placed into the Community Service Program. The exceptions are those individuals who are determined to be physically or mentally incapable of participating. Since the Community Service Program strictly follows the rules and guidelines of Child Labor Law, those juveniles under the age of 14 are excluded from the Program as well.
Jobs & Projects
The juveniles in the Community Service Program do a variety of jobs and projects. However, most of these jobs and projects can generally fall under the category of manual labor and general maintenance. Things like cleaning, washing vehicles, simple landscaping and the like can basically describe the type of work that the juveniles in the program perform.
Again since the JPO strictly follows the rules and guidelines of Child Labor, the type of work and that the juveniles are allowed to perform is closely monitored. The work must be age appropriate as the amount of hours that is permitted during the school year and the summer must be within the bounds of Child Labor. When an independent community service site is signed on, a copy of the Child Labor Law Abstract is provided to that site.
Since the Program's inception in 1998, the program has grown by leaps and bounds. To date, nearly 37,000 hours of community service has been completed. The following is a year by year breakdown of community service hours completed:
Community Service Hours
During the summer months, the JPO will take juveniles to the County owned parks to perform various tasks including picking up litter, simple landscaping, and even some simple carpentry and construction work. The JPO will also take juveniles to other various sites under contract with the JPO during the summer months to perform community service. These sites could be boroughs and townships, parks throughout the County, the Fayette County Fairgrounds, etc.
The other special community service project is the summer Litter Brigade Program. It is a Financial Restitution/Community Service Program in which juveniles can earn money to pay on any restitution, fines, or Court costs that they may owe.