Alternative Sentencing & Court Programs
Alternative Sentencing Program
Since 1971 OAR has offered Opportunities, Alternatives and Resources for persons involved with the criminal justice system. OAR’s alternative sentencing program is a means for alternative sanctions in lieu of jail time for non-violent misdemeanor offenses. The program operates in cooperation with the General District Court, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and the Office of Adult Probation and Parole.
The Alternative Sentencing Program diverts justice-involved individuals away from costly incarceration and offers a second chance to those who have committed misdemeanor offenses.
In partnership with over 700 area non-profit organizations, government agencies, and businesses, OAR provides opportunities for the performance of court-ordered community service. Community service worksites include libraries, parks, schools, emergency shelters, charitable organizations and businesses.
Participants in the community service program are required to pay a fee. Please confirm current fees by contacting OAR’s Alternative Sentencing Program at 703-246-3033 or by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click below to pay program fees.
Shoplifting Prevention Classes
Defendants with theft charges are required to attend a one-time, three-hour shoplifting prevention class. Class time is in addition to the total number of community service hours required by the Court.
Number of Community Service Hours
The required number of community service hours typically ranges from 10 to 100 hours, however, additional hours can be imposed by the Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Judge.
Become a Community Worksite
Would you like to partner with OAR to have community services workers assist with the work at your agency? Would you like someone to contact you with more information?
About the Community Service Program
This program offers adults charged for the first time with various criminal offenses including, but not limited to, petit larceny, possession of marijuana, trespassing, destruction of property, DUI, and others, an opportunity to perform community service in lieu of a conviction that may include jail time and/or a fine.
A preliminary record check is done for each defendant before the first court appearance to verify their eligibility for the program; OAR staff appears in court each day to interview eligible defendants and to explain the program. Participation is voluntary, but must be approved by the presiding Judge and/or Commonwealth Attorney. The typical defendant is given a deferred sentence and about four months to complete 50 hours of community service. Once completed, charges are dismissed. Should the client not complete their assigned hours by the given deadline, jail time and/or fines will be imposed.
When an individual has been referred to OAR, a staff member will complete a full assessment to determine a client’s skills, abilities, and interests to make an appropriate placement that allows the defendant to successfully complete his/her community service. Staff will also assess the need for any other services OAR provides such as clothing, transportation, employment information, and referrals to other agencies.