Impact on Youth and Community
Community service is a vital and effective tool in holding youth accountable for their offenses. Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice has adopted a restorative philosophy and approach to our community service program by viewing a youth’s service as more than just punishment for their offenses, but as an opportunity and obligation for the offender to repair the harm they have caused to their victim(s) and the community. In addition to offender accountability and reducing a youth’s risk to reoffend, community service program staff focus on helping youth develop the following skills:
- Build social and vocational competencies
- Develop healthy attitudes and relationships
- Make positive connections with their community
- Build empathy and accept personal responsibility for their actions
Participation in meaningful community service projects provides the greatest likelihood for youth to develop these skills, foster a sense of civic responsibility, and gain a better understanding of how their behavior has impacted others. By performing service of true value and benefit to their community, youth have an opportunity to see first-hand how they made a positive contribution in their community and for the environment. They gain experience working with a team and gain the personal satisfaction that comes from helping others in need.
By completing necessary service projects that improve our community, youth are also afforded a unique opportunity to have a positive influence on the public perception directed at youth offenders.
Community Service Crews
Most youth performing community service participate on crews that are supervised by trained and experienced crew leaders. The youth are transported to designated work sites throughout Deschutes County, where they perform a variety of restorative service projects. The offenders work under direct supervision of crew leaders at all times. The crew leaders are dedicated to ensuring the safety of all crew participants and to assisting each youth to successfully complete their community service obligation. A Community Service Release must be signed by the youth and their parent/guardian before they are eligible to participate on a crew.
Community Work Sites
Individual community sites like schools, churches and nonprofit agencies are also selected for offenders to complete their community service obligation. These community work sites are reserved for first-time offenders participating in Community Accountability Services, and for some select youth on probation.
These work sites must be preapproved by the youth's community justice officer and the Community Programs supervisor, who monitors each youth's progress and ensures a time sheet is recorded to verify hours are completed. A Work Site Community Service Release must be signed by the youth and their parent/ guardian before community service hours can be started.
There is no cost for graffiti removal services. When a report is received, an officer attempts to identify the victim(s) and get a Graffiti Removal Waiver to either remove or repaint over the graffiti. If the property owner does not have paint or cannot afford to buy it, staff do their best to match colors and get paint through donations, or the department buys it directly from local suppliers.
Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice views graffiti removal as one of its best examples of restorative community service for youth offenders. It offers youth active participation and an opportunity to help victims and their community in a meaningful and measurable way. The youth and our community can see immediate results of their service; a result that is both tangible and gratifying.
Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice is committed to continuing our graffiti removal program and strongly encourages citizens to immediately report graffiti and other acts of vandalism to law enforcement.
To help expedite the graffiti cleanup process, victims should call:
Juvenile Community Justice graffiti Hotline
Donations of Paint supplies are greatly appreciated!
Barbed Wire Removal
In partnership with a local raptor rehabilitation center, Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice is working with local property owners to improve the environment and reduce accidental injury to birds of prey by removing unwanted barbed wire fencing.
Youth offenders pay back their community by joining a work crew under close supervision of department staff to cut and remove barbed wire fencing. The wire is disposed of at a local recycling facility at no charge to the property owner. The raptor rehabilitation center supports juvenile work service efforts by making program referrals and offering educational presentations to the youth about the dangers barbed wire fencing poses to raptors and other wildlife. The youth also gain more specific knowledge about birds of prey, including live interaction with the birds.
Interested in having barbed wire removed from your property?
There is no cost for barbed wire removal service. Deschutes County residents can improve their property by removing barbed wire fences to make it safe for raptors and other wildlife while also providing an opportunity for youth offenders to perform work with restorative and educational value. Just complete a Barbed Wire Removal Waiver giving written authorization to begin the clean-up work. Contact Jim Smith at (541) 322-7653 for more information.