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Community Service Program

Who We Are

The Montgomery County Community Service Department is an alternative sentencing program. The program allows the18 courts in Montgomery County to assign convicted offenders, who would otherwise be facing a period of incarceration in the Montgomery County jail, to perform Community Service. The Community Service program places convicted offenders in unpaid positions with nonprofit, public agencies and/or municipalities to perform a specified number of hours of work or service within a time limit as a sentencing option or condition. The judge sets the number of hours to be worked and the timeframe in which the hours must be completed. This service may be completed as a condition of a program or as a requirement of a conditional discharge. The sentencing judge makes the selection for an offender to participate in this alternative sentencing program. Overall, the judge is the sole determinant of a court-ordered Community Service sentence. The Community Service office then assigns offenders to work locations and tracks the hours completed. The Community Service office maintains close communication with the courts and if deemed necessary, will notify the court of violations to the sentencing order. If a violation occurs, the case is returned to the court for re-sentencing, which may include incarceration. The program operates under set guidelines (Community Service Standards) established and monitored by the New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives

Who is Sentenced to Community Service?

Male and female offenders ages 16 and older may be sentenced to Community Service. Those offenders that are16 or 17 years of age perform Community Service in accordance with Section 132 of the Labor Law, and no offender who is a minor will perform services prohibited by Section 133 of the Labor Law.

Offenses eligible for Community Service may include, but are not limited to: Substance Abuse (selling, using, possessing), Vehicle and Traffic (DWI, unlicensed operation, seat belt), Property (burglary/trespass, larceny), or Other (disorderly conduct, harassment, open container, court/probation sanctions).

Defendants who have a history of: severe physical, mental, emotional disabilities, violent or sexual offenses are not eligible for Community Service. All offenders are screened by the Community Service office staff prior to enrollment in Community Service Program.


Program Expectations

Community Service is a sentencing option imposed by the court as an alternative sanction or a condition of probation, conditional discharge, ACD or release. The convicted offender is expected to complete his/her sentence in a timely and acceptable manner. Offender non-compliance shall result in a graduated series of actions ranging from a verbal warning to written notification to the court requesting re-sentencing which could include additional Community Service hours being sentenced and/or incarceration. All interested parties shall be notified upon the offender’s successful completion of the Community Service program.


Benefits

There are many benefits to the Community Service program.

Worksite Benefits:

  • Free labor
  • Enhance existing services or activities with short term and long-term assistance

Community Benefits:

  • Community Service is less expensive than incarceration, saving taxpayers money
  • Allows the offender to “payback” society in a more positive way

Offender Benefits:

  • Offender is able to remain employed or to stay in school
  • Opportunity for offender to become a contributing member of society
  • Improve job skills, making the offender more competitive in the job market
  • Community Service may be an alternative to a fine, which many offenders do not have the means to pay

Worksite Info

How can my worksite participate?

Government and non-profit agencies may be participating community service worksites.

All offenders are screened prior to being referred for community service. Worksites also have the opportunity to interview community service referrals prior to placement.

Community service is performed on days, nights, and weekend hours, and is both full and part-time.

Register to become a worksite with the Community Service Program by completing the Worksite Agreement Form and returning it to our office or by calling (518) 853-8365.

 

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