Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. What is the Community Services or the Community Alternative Service Program (CASP)?

A. Community Service is a cooperative effort of the Volunteer Centers, various public and private nonprofit organizations, the Los Angeles Superior Court Districts, and the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

A. The Community Alternative Service Program is a cost effective, safe and viable sentencing alternative for individuals 16 years of age and older who are physically and mentally capable of and willing to make reparation for their “quality of life offenses” through their performance of community service.

Q. How does the program work?

A. Court Referral volunteers are referred by Superior Court Judges, Probation Officers and/or District Attorneys to the Volunteer Center. The number of hours to be served is at the sole discretion of the referring entities.
Court Referrals are interviewed and are matched with the needs of public and private nonprofit agencies. Court Referrals are further matched with service opportunities based on their availability, where they reside, and their offense. This service helps to alleviate overcrowding in jails and courtrooms. It also allows clients to serve without interrupting the positive influences in their lives, such as employment, education and family life. Volunteers are offered a choice of referrals according to their needs.
The needs of the public and private nonprofit organizations are also taken into consideration. Organizations participating in the program integrate the court referral volunteers with their regular volunteers, allowing them the same opportunities and considerations. Organizations are responsible for providing supervision and record keeping.

Q. How are participants referred?

A. Individuals are referred from the Courts, Judges, Probation Officers & District Attorneys to make reparation for their crimes through the performance of community service.

Q. Is there a fee?

A. Yes, there is a fee for participation. Fee’s are determined on by hours given.

Q. What is the Intake Process?

A. Volunteer Clients are screened and interviewed by an intake specialist and referred to one of our many worksite placements.

Q. How does this program benefit participants and the community?

A. Volunteer Clients gain a better understanding of how their behavior adversely impacted the community. Supervised community service activities provide much-needed benefits such as park beautification, graffiti clean-up and support to social service agencies and governmental worksites. Participants develop new skills & community service often leads to employment or volunteer opportunities for individuals who enjoyed the work they performed.

Q. What services are provided?

A. Clients are screened. Clients are referred to worksite placements. Case management is provided and Clients are linked to supportive services. Reports are provided to the courts upon successful completion. Individuals who do not comply with all conditions of community service are returned to the court for further action.

Q. What are the goals and objectives of Community Service?

A. The goals and objectives of the Community Alternative Sentencing program are to provide participants with a constructive, proactive reparative sanction that helps individuals see first-hand the indirect injuries caused by his/her offense. Community Service also helps to reduce the burden on the system of incarceration.