Community Service is a supervisory mandate that requires Youth Justice clients to participate in structured work activities and/or programs. Community Service does not provide a case management service.
Community Service is delivered through the Community Service Order Program which is part of Community Youth Justice. Community Service requires the Youth Justice client to complete a set number of hours within a specified timeframe.
Community Service is available as a stand-alone order or as a condition on another order such as an Obligation. Community Service can also result from an agreement between the Fines Enforcement Recovery Officer, Attorney-General’s Department and the client. The primary intent of Community Service is to provide Youth Justice clients with the opportunity to give back to the community within which they have offended.
Community Service provides a valuable opportunity for Youth Justice clients to reflect on the impacts of their offences, develop pro-social relationships and learn new skills, promoting the development of social responsibility and supporting young people’s desistance from crime. Community Service seeks to inspire young people to change, participate positively in their communities and establish identities outside offending behaviour.
The work selected for a young personas per the Young Offenders Act 1993 must be for the benefit of:
- The victim of the offence, or
- Persons who are disadvantaged through age, illness, incapacity or any other adversity, or
- An organisation that does not seek to secure a pecuniary profit for its members, or
- A Public Service administrative unit, an agency or instrumentality of the Crown or a local government authority.
The supervision of Youth Justice clients undertaking Community Service can occur in three ways:
- Internally – in which the young person is supervised by Community Service staff in all activities and programs facilitated by Community Service staff
- Semi-supported – in which the young person undertakes activities and programs facilitated by the partner organisations but is supervised by Community Service staff
- Externally – in which young people undertake their Community Service within partner organisations and are fully supervised by partner agency staff.
Comprehensive matching of Youth Justice clients with suitable work activities and programs is fundamental to the safe completion of Community Service that promotes tangible client outcomes.
The health and safety of Youth Justice clients undertaking Community Service is a key priority and its consideration informs all work activity and program decisions. The delivery of Community Service requires compliance with all relevant health and safety legislation and regulations in order to provide a safe program and work environment.