Court Referral

Need to make an appointment?

Call (707) 573-3360 and speak with our professional staff who help you find a non-profit organization to complete your court-ordered community service.

The Volunteer Center of Sonoma County Court Referral Program was established in Sonoma County in 1976. Court Referral Program believes community service gives people an opportunity to grow and be transformed. The program’s partnerships with nonprofit organizations enable our clients to change their behavior by learning new skills, building healthier relationships, gaining employment, and finding meaningful ways to give their time to people in need. Court Referral clients serve meals to the elderly, clean county and city parks, plant trees, sort food donations, remove graffiti, create websites, test software, and set up local fundraising events.

Volunteer placements are made on the basis of a face to face interview to determine the client’s skills, availability and limitations. Clients are matched to a community agency to do a wide variety of tasks. All of these tasks enhance the ability of the non-profit organization to provide services to the community. Non-profit organizations thrive and expand services through the use of community service volunteers. The collaborative nature of the program benefits the client, the non-profit organization, and the community.

Court Referral Program is designed to provide a service to people who elect to volunteer rather than pay a court fine or for situations where some consequence is desired. The program provides placement, follow-up, and reports on clients referred to complete community service work through the court system. Volunteers referred to the program may be from Traffic Court, Adult Diversion Services, Adult and Juvenile Probation Departments, or Sonoma County Superior Court.

Interviews are done in-person only at the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa. A program fee is charged for each referral. The fee is based on the number of hours that are assigned by court. Contact program staff for the current fee schedule. Waivers or reductions in fees can be arranged directly with the program.

An individual sentenced in Sonoma County, who lives outside of this county, should contact program staff for instructions on how to arrange to do the assigned work where they live. Similarly, a person who was assigned community service work in some other county or state and lives in Sonoma County should arrange a transfer to this program from the sentencing county. For assistance, please call program staff.

Program Goals

Our goal is to interview 5,100 or more clients for the year; for 80% or more of the interviewed clients to complete all of their assigned work; and for clients to complete 143,000 hours or more of community service in non-profit organizations for the year.

At the end of the 2014 fiscal year, the program received 6,145 new referrals from court or probation. During this same time period, the program interviewed 4,931 clients for an 84% success rate and 197,150 hours of work completed. Clients from the Court Referral Program volunteered during the year at over 450 different non-profit or tax supported sites within Sonoma County.