The Benefits of Juvenile Sentencing to Service

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Sentencing to Service (STS) is a sentencing option available to most Courts where a convicted offender "works off” his/her fine by performing a specified number of hours of public service work under the supervision of a work crew leader employed by the state or a local corrections agency. Courts may also sentence offenders to STS rather than jail or workhouse time. STS was established in 1986 by the Minnesota Department of Corrections along with several County Sheriff’s Departments, community corrections, Courts and local governments. This program was designed to both free up bed space in a correctional facility as well as provide the Courts of juvenile and adult offenders a means of providing supervised community service. Never before had the Courts been met with the astounding number of juvenile offenders. Courts were being inundated with juvenile offenders and until this program was established and implemented they had limited alternative sentencing options available to them. By creating this program this allowed the Courts an option to “sentence” juvenile offenders into a meaningful supervised setting rather then placing them in a detention center. This also opened up space in the detention centers for more serious offenders. The offenders most commonly come to work for the day and are released to go home after the day’s end. Selection of STS participants is a cooperative effort of STS and court staff. Judges order offenders to be placed on STS work crews and the number of hours to be worked. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, local county and other agencies identify workactivities and supply equipment. Crew leaders arrange transportation and are responsible for supervision of offenders a... ... middle of paper ... ...ded jails need emptying.” STS programs are operated throughout Minnesota with over 80 percent of the state’s counties participating. State offices are located in Albert Lea, Bemidji, Center City, Chaska, Detroit Lakes, Grand Rapids, Litchfield, Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, Red Wing, St. Cloud, and Winona. Each office has a supervisor and crew leaders. The program is said to have a very high success rate, with few negative factors. In 2001 STS won the Presidents Award for its creativity, resourcefulness, effectiveness, and innovation. References Brian Downing, Beltrami County Corrections Officer Jeff Beckwith, Marry Ann Grimm,
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