The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 21, 2014

Value of community service

—  After reading the numerous articles in reference to Northumberland County Probation offering a “payout” to probationers for their community service, I am dismayed at the reasoning Judge Sacavage and Ex-Chief Pottieger gave for the “payout.”

They offered a payout of $5 per hour of community service. According to the Independent Sector (IS) the 2012 value of a volunteer’s time was $22.14/hour. How did they come up with a $5 value? They felt this “payout” was “effective.” Their reasoning was that some probationers worked full-time and had a family, therefore, did not have the time to complete the community service.

What values were they teaching the probationer? I work a full-time job, a part-time job, and have also volunteered many hours over the years. Some of the best family time was spent volunteering with my family. Why not allow the probationer to bring their family along to work together on a volunteer project? The “payout” was too easy of an “out.”  

Brad Hamm,


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