In our criminal justice system, there is a place to sentence an offender to perform community service instead of sentencing them to jail or pay a fine.
Community service is a type of alternative sentence that has been approved or confirmed to be effective in the criminal justice system around the world. Instead of ordering an offender to serve a prison sentence or pay a fine, the court may order them to perform community service for the benefit of the aggrieved community, particularly when the offense committed by the offender does not is not “very serious” or low level criminality.
The court has the discretion to determine what community service it can order the offender, but the sentence must be related to the crime.
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A judge can order community service in addition to or instead of other sentencing options, such as jail time, fines, probation, or restitution.
For example, a person charged with driving against traffic may be sentenced to be a traffic officer and control traffic for a period of time as a community service instead of being sent to jail or paying a fine.
Community service may not be as popular in Nigeria as it is in the western world, but there is a provision for a judge to order an offender to perform community service such as sweeping the highway, cleaning public spaces, working in public institutions without pay instead of being sent to jail or fined. It is provided for in the Nigerian criminal justice system. For example, in Nigeria, an internet fraudster was recently convicted of sweeping and cleaning a church in Abuja as a lesser sentence for the fact that the perpetrator pleaded guilty and showed remorse for the crime of internet fraud whose he was accused, also Funke Akindele , the popular Nollywood producer / actress was convicted in 2020 and ordered to sweep and clean a public place for a period of time as punishment for breaking the covid 19 lockdown rule at most due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
The determining factor before an offender is ordered to perform community service is that the offense must be a “not so serious” offence. Community service cannot be ordered for a felony punishable by death or other serious offense such as armed robbery or kidnapping and community service is ordered for the benefit of society that has been offended by the act of the offender.
Community service is generally not available for serious offenses punishable by death or life imprisonment.
Most importantly, community service is ordered for the benefit of the aggrieved community. For example, someone caught littering an environment may be ordered to sweep the area for a set period of time.
In the western world where he is mainly adopted, an offender may be sentenced to work in an animal shelter or a homeless shelter, help clean the roads or give speeches in schools or groups aimed at show the dangers of the behavior involved in the crime.