com·mu·ni·ty serv·ice • n. voluntary work intended to help people in a particular area. ∎ Law unpaid work, intended to be of social use, that an offender is required to do instead of going to prison.
A sentencing option for persons convicted of crimes in which the court orders the defendant to perform a number of hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the public.
A person convicted of a criminal offense may be required to complete a sentence of community service directly or as an express condition of probation. Typically, the community service will involve performance at a facility that has been authorized by the court or probation department. Community service is appropriate when it is reasonably designed to repair the harm caused by the offense.