The DeKalb County Community Restitution Services (CRS) Program has been an integral part of Court Services since 1980. The program is a statutory sentencing option available to the Court for both adult and juvenile offenders. The Court may order offenders to perform a specified number of community restitution service hours to be completed at a non-profit worksite in the county. A condition of CRS hours is a tangible consequence for law breaking behavior and also provides a mechanism for the offender to repair any harm or damage to the community at large in the form of free labor.
The Court may order CRS hours in felony, misdemeanor, DUI, traffic, and juvenile cases. Most, if not all, of the juvenile offenders ordered to perform CRS hours report both to the CRS Coordinator and to a Juvenile Probation Officer. In the adult arena, a significant number of the cases with CRS hours are not on Probation, but are placed on Court Supervision or Conditional Discharge, and report to the CRS Coordinator only. The CRS Coordinator meets regularly with the Juvenile and Adult Probation Officers to discuss the status of CRS hours in shared cases.
The CRS Coordinator meets with all offenders ordered to perform CRS hours to conduct an intake interview where necessary information is gathered to help insure an appropriate worksite placement. The CRS Coordinator matches offenders to worksites according to their skills, availability, transportation resources, and the needs of the worksites. The CRS Coordinator monitors the completion of hours and reports compliance and non-compliance back to the Court. The CRS worksites and worksite supervisors are a critical part of the program. Over the years the DeKalb County CRS program has grown immensely from a handful of worksites to over 40 county-wide worksites that take CRS workers on a regular basis. The CRS Coordinator conducts bi- weekly worksite visits on the sites most frequently used to maintain contact with the worksite supervisors and quarterly visits to those sites used less frequently. In FY 2009 a total of 163 worksite visits were conducted.
Examples of some of the most frequently used worksites include the TAILS, DeKalb Park District, Equine Dreams, DeKalb County Animal Shelter, Northern Illinois University's Student Center and Center for Black Studies, Waterman Western Railroad, Sandwich Police Department, Kirkland Fire Squad, and Maple Park Library.