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Court-Ordered Community Service

Sometimes individuals facing minor criminal charges can complete community service hours in exchange for the dismissal of the citation. If you are offered community service, pay attention to:

  • Number of hours required
  • Where service must be completed
  • How to verify the service
  • When verification must be submitted to the court

Tips for Court-Mandated Volunteers

When contacting organizations to inquire about volunteer opportunities, let them know right away that you are completing court-mandated service hours. Some organizations do not accept court-mandated volunteers.

Honor any commitments you make. The organization can report no-show or problematic volunteers to the judge.

When you finish a project, be sure to get the appropriate form or letter from the supervisor of the project. Penn State's volunteer service office can't verify service hours.

If the supervisor promises to send a letter directly to the court, check to make sure the court received it. It is always your responsibility to make sure the court gets proof of your hours.

Show up ready to work with a great attitude. The judges regularly hear back from some of the volunteer placements.

How Penn State Can Help You Find Opportunities

Penn State's Office of Student Activities has a service office ( located at 103 HUB to help connect students with appropriate volunteer activities.

The Council of Lionhearts maintains a database of volunteer activities many of which are located on campus or have easy, online signups.

Researching Direct Volunteer Opportunities

Here are a few places around Centre County that regularly use volunteers. Some organizations require orientation, training, or a long-term commitment, so be upfront about what you're willing to commit to, and follow through on that commitment.


Youth and Community

Adults and Seniors