Judges these days are regularly sentencing offenders to do community service work instead of jail. It’s a win-win for offenders and society at large – and certainly more productive than doing time behind bars.
If you have a brush with the law, a judge could order you to do a set amount of community service hours. The judge then refers your file to a probation officer. Your next step will be to meet with a CSO caseworker.
There are more than 100 nonprofit CSO placement agencies – including the Ottawa Booth Centre – throughout the province. Our case worker will meet with you and ask questions about your work history.
The case worker assesses your skills and matches you with a suitable community volunteer placement.
The CSO worker will ask about your:
Some agencies prefer working with certain types of offenders. The CSO Program does its utmost to satisfy agency requests.
Electronic monitoring of offenders is a powerful tool for the justice system. It helps reduce the number of people in prison. It also ensures that those under house arrest obey the conditions of their sentence.
If you are put under house arrest, under the ESP, here’s how it works. An electronic brace is fitted around your ankle and a monitoring unit is installed in your residence. It measures the distance of the brace to the monitoring unit.
If you step outside the range of the monitoring unit, an alarm goes off alerting the police. In Ontario, ESP enables the authorities to vigilantly monitor offenders who are partly serving their sentence in the community. ESP is:
The Intermittent Community Work Program (ICWP) is a sentencing option open to some adult male offenders. Offenders are ineligible if they have a history of sex offences or have committed an offence involving domestic violence.
The program enables eligible offenders to do their regular jobs during the regular work week. On the weekend they do community work instead of being locked up in jail.
The program is supported by several hundred community agencies throughout the province. The agencies’ role is to identify work opportunities for offenders seeking intermittent/weekend sentences.
Under ICWP you have the freedom to work throughout the week and are expected to:
Enforcement officials randomly telephone participants to ensure they are at home. So you must have a land line for officials to be able to call you.
You are considered to be under house arrest until the end of the day. This condition is monitored by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS). You will be supervised during your assignment by a non-profit agency, such as the Salvation Army.
The Pre-Charge Diversion Program is a means for offenders to avoid the harmful effects of jail and a criminal record. Diversion also reduces the demands on law enforcement and the court system. The program covers Adult Pre-Charge Diversion, Shop-Theft Protocol and John School Seminars.
The program enables so-called “Johns” to avoid the criminal justice system. It provides services and benefits to:
– the offender
– the justice system
– the community
By diverting minor offences, the program enables offenders to come to terms with their behaviour, and correct it. The public in turn benefits from the decrease of such behaviour. The offender benefits by avoiding the haunting stigma of a criminal record.