The Court Referral program is easier
than "Workin' on a Chain Gang"
The Court Referral Program is an alternate sentencing option for Superior, Municipal, Traffic and Juvenile Courts. The court has the option to assign community service hours in addition to, or in lieu of, incarceration and/or a fine. A community service sentence orders restitution by an offender through helping his or her community. Usually, the prescribed service is provided to governmental and non-profit agencies, suggesting symbolically that the offender is servicing the good of the general public and compensating society for having committed a crime. Authority resides under the jurisdiction of the criminal system.
The program carefully screens individuals before referring them to the agency to perform community service. They then provide follow-up and record keeping of the hours worked. The Court Referral Program maintains branches in Bakersfield and Shafter.
Many agencies throughout Kern County utilize the program to supplement staff shortages and solve many of the daily operational problems that they all encounter. Agencies such as United Way, Food Bank, Kern County Soccer Park, Jason's Retreat, Salvation Army, Bethany Services/Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, City of Bakersfield Sanitation, Kern County Fairgrounds, Boys and Girls Club, Golden Empire Gleaners, Friendship House and Goodwill Industries are a few of the agencies that receive assistance through this program. Volunteer positions for the Court Referral Program range from janitorial duties to professional services rendered by court ordered volunteers. Clients and agencies find this program equally beneficial and vital to our community.
Additional benefits of the Court Referral Program:
- the person can often continue at his or her job without going to jail, thereby keeping the family together.
- the person learns to give of him or herself.
- establishes a work ethic for those who have never known this sense of accomplishment.
- volunteer work can raise self image.
- tremendous saving to the taxpayer by eliminating the cost of incarceration.
- community service can be transferred from any court jurisdiction to the Volunteer Center of Kern County.