Community Service Sites
At the present time, the Juvenile Probation Office has 66 independent Community Service Sites under contract.
Independent meaning that the juveniles assigned to that site go there on their own, the site is responsible for any training that may be required in order for the juvenile to perform their assigned task, supervising the juvenile(s) assigned there, and maintaining a proper record (PDF) of the juvenile's hours that they perform.
The main questions that are asked by a prospective community service site are about supervision of the juveniles, and liability. As mentioned previously, the site is responsible for the supervision of the juveniles performing tasks for the site. The site must also have their own liability insurance policy to protect themselves in the event of an incident with juveniles (i.e. injury, improper conduct by a member of the site or by the juveniles themselves).
The Community Service Coordinator will also recommend to the site that they notify their insurance carrier that they have entered into an agreement with the JPO to allow juveniles to perform community service work. The JPO maintains an accident insurance policy through the State of Pennsylvania that covers a juvenile in the event that a juvenile gets injured while performing community service. The policy covers the initial $100 of medical coverage. The juveniles own insurance then takes over.
In the event that their own insurance maxes out or if they have no coverage, the accident policy then pays up to $500,000 in medical coverage. The JPO also maintains a liability policy through the County. This policy will cover the site if the juvenile accidentally causes some type of damage to the site. It does not cover the site if the damage caused by the juvenile is intentional or as a result of criminal activity. If this does happen, the site must pursue criminal charges against the juvenile and seek restitution.
Become a Community Service Site
The JPO requires a prospective community service site to sign a contract with the JPO. This contract establishes a link between the site and the JPO. It outlines the JPO's responsibility to the site, the site's responsibility to the JPO and the juvenile that will be working there, and the juvenile's responsibility to the site. A juvenile will not be allowed to work at a community service site without that contract being signed by both parties. Once the contract is signed, the juvenile may begin work immediately.
If your non-profit organization is interested in becoming a community service site, please fill out the Community Service Work Site Agreement (PDF).
When a juvenile is assigned to an independent community service site, they are given a time sheet to keep track of the hours they perform. The person responsible for supervising the juvenile will fill in the date and times that the juvenile perform their community service. When the juvenile completes their hours, the supervisor will sign the time sheet and return it to the JPO.
Although each case is different, there is a framework for recommending the amount of community service hours:
- Felony Offense - up to 50 hours
- Misdemeanor Offense or Violation of Probation - up to 25 hours
Juveniles who were also adjudicated delinquent and were court ordered into placement may have been assigned community service hours as a condition of their release from placement. The hours will be assigned using the same criteria:
- Placement for a Felony offense - up to 50 hours
- Placement for a Misdemeanor offense or Violation of Probation - up to 25 hours
It should be noted that the supervising probation officer does have the discretion to assign additional community service hours as a sanction for a technical violation of the juvenile's terms of probation or termination from the community service site for which they were assigned.
There are several different special community service projects that the JPO can have the juveniles perform. One of these special projects is work performed for the County of Fayette and the various properties under County management including the Courthouse, the Public Service Building, and County owned parks and vehicles. While the JPO has had the juveniles detail the County vehicles for several years now, it's just been within the past year that the JPO has been able to have juveniles in the Community Service Program work at the various County owned properties, namely the Courthouse. The juveniles clean and perform general maintenance work at the Courthouse on Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week. They also wash windows, pull weeds and pick up trash around the outside of the Courthouse when the weather permits.