Volunteer labor pool available
From: The Fertile Zone (fertilezonepostoffice.worldnet.att.net)
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 20:14:40 -0500
WHO'S IN THE LABOR POOL

..there is no shortage of Lawyers, Architects, Civil Engineers, or other high 
skilled 
volunteers, however, I don't know how to find someone in the occupation your 
interested 
in ..  

A woman waiting in line with me says, "I requested court-ordered community 
service the 
last time I was here, and I'll do it again. .. the reasons for my inability to 
pay this fine is 
nobody's business but mine."   She previously served a 4-hour Saturday with her 
local 
library.

I was waiting in line because my last traffic fine was greatly reduced by 
simply appearing 
in court.  Applying this woman's experience to my own, my fine was reduced from 
$150.00 to $44.00, after I asked the Judge for the court-ordered community 
service, in the 
same  breath with my excuse for getting the ticket.  This request is available, 
regardless 
of the type of court appearance that involves fines.

WHO GETS THIS FREE LABOR POOL

I believe the labor pool is free for any organization with a Volunteer 
Coordinator that can 
use court-ordered volunteers, and provide the volunteer an organizational 
letter to file with 
the court for proof of this service. 

I was given a list of participating agencies created by the Volunteer Center of 
United Way, 
in my area, and a 30 day time frame to either choose one to serve, or pay the 
fine in 
cash.  Surprisingly, no co-housing communities were on this list. 

Since all municipal courts must have a court-orderd community service program, 
they all 
must provide a number to call for information on court-ordered volunteer 
opportunities.  My 
numbers were on the list, 461-6906 in Seattle and 556-8326 in South King 
County.  The 
United Way may also maintain lists for several municipalities nationally.

HOW THE AGENCIES SCREEN VOLUNTEERS

According to my information sheet, most agencies require a screening and 
interview.  
Agencies need to see the court order.  Mine is a one page fine/penalty 
agreement.
Agencies will need to know the nature of the offence for which the volunteer is 
doing 
community service. Most agencies refuse felony offenders or infractions 
associated with 
violence, and often require a State Patrol Criminal History Check before 
accepting the 
volunteer.

The lines are very long in the traffic-offense section and there is no shortage 
of Lawyers, 
Architects, Civil Engineers, or other high skilled victims.  However, short of 
getting 
permission to post a flyer for your organization on a public court-house 
bulletin board, I 
don't know how to target a specific occupation interested in court-ordered 
community 
service.  

Nevertheless, any composition of professional volunteers could eventually save 
consulting 
fees, or indirectly serve a recruiting function for any community-driven 
development, 
especially if the volunteer's need for court-ordered community service is 
ideological rather 
than financial. 

Your avid co-housing WanaBe
Roger R., Sr. Research Editor


The Fertile Zone
http://www.geocities.com/HotSprings/4726/
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