Saturday, August 22, 2009

Role Models: Community Service - Alternative Sentencing

Community service is an act by a person that benefits the local community. People become involved in community service for many reasons: for some, serving community is an altruistic act, for others it is a punishment. (Wikipedia)

A. Class Discussion:
What is your opinion about Community Service as Alternate Sentencing of convicts?

B. Work with a partner. Read the following statements about alternative sentencing and decide if you both agree or disagree with them. Justify your answers.

1. Expensive fines should be reduced in exchange for a certain number of hours of community service.

2. The convicts should be able to choose their community service.

3. Sentences should be ordered by the court, deciding which services convicts must do.

4. The sentencing should be specifically aimed at the convict's crime, for example, a litterer may have to clean a park , or a drunk driver can be asked to talk to school groups to explain why drunk driving is a crime.

5. Minor offenders should be required to work for city departments under the supervision of the police on weekends, as an alternative to jail.

6. A service to the community is more beneficial than punishment .

7. The community sees a benefit, saving costs associated with incarceration.

8. It is a way to educate the convict in what is acceptable behavior.

9. It is a bad example for other groups, such as young people, because they may become reluctant to do it voluntarily.

10. It is too light a sentence for the crimes.

C. Make a list of five alternative sentences you would consider fair.

D. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions that follow. Take turns asking them.


1. Describe what happened in the segment.

2. What were their sentences? Were they fair or should they go to jail? Why?

3. What were some of their crimes?

4. What's Sturdy Wings?

5. What did Sturdy Wings do to Gayle's life? How different is her life now?

6. What's your opinion about the commercial? Is it effective? Why (not)?

7. Is Sturdy Wings really worse than jail?



  1. A very good segment and the activities were good. It was useful for English class and life! Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Graham. I'm glad it has been useful. See you around.