Community Service Work

Frequently Asked Questions

APPLICATION QUESTIONS (Click the question to reveal each answer.)

  • If your court order says CSW at any nonprofit/on your own/not through Probation, you may do CSW independently at any nonprofit 503(c) Organization. You do NOT have to use Probation CSW services. Probation does NOT assist you in locating a suitable nonprofit if you are doing CSW at any nonprofit/onyour own or not through Probation, nor do we maintain any lists of nonprofits.
  • If your court order says CSW at any nonprofit/on your own/not through Probation and you wish to use the Probation CSW Program to be assigned to an appropriate worksite, you may do so, but you must pay the CSW fees.
  • If your court order says CSW through Probation, or as directed by Probation, then you must do your CSW hours through the Probation CSW Program.
415 E. Cypress Street
Lompoc, CA 93436
Santa Maria
2121 S. Centerpointe Pkwy.
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Santa Barbara
117 E. Carrillo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Santa Barbara
4400 Hollister Ave.
Santa Barbara, CA 93110
All four Probation offices are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.
No. You do NOT need an appointment to apply for community service work.
No. Applications can not be processed while you wait, or immediately.  Due to our volume and required procedures, you must receive your work assignment letter by mail.
Yes.  Juveniles must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
You must report to the Probation Department with your paperwork from the court (referral docket or court order) or your referral from your probation officer.  Without this official information, we can not process your application.


The Community Service Work program enrollment fee is based on a fixed application fee of $25 for juveniles and $50 for adults, plus $2 per hour of community service work ordered.
Sometimes.  The enrollment fee is waived when current verifiable proof of current enrollment in public assistance is presented at the time of application.
Yes.  An installment payment plan is available.  The installment plan account setup fee is $20 of juveniles and $30 for adults.
No.  Community Service Work Program fees are not refunded.
These fees may change without notice.  The current fee schedule is located here.


The Probation Department currently offers worksites at local city and county parks, state beaches, and other public and non-profit agencies in the community.  Physical and manual labor is required at all worksites.
The CSW coordinator will attempt to assign you to one of your worksite choices based on the criteria of the worksites, and availability.  The choice of the worksite assigned will ultimately be at the discretion of the CSW coordinator and may not be one of the worksites you selected.  You are mailed a community service work assignment letter to the address on your application.
It can take up to two weeks for you to receive your work assignment letter.  Do not wait until the last month to apply for CSW.  Applications received less than four weeks prior to the completion date may not allow enough time for processing, mailing and scheduling work hours with the worksite.
No. You must be assigned to a worksite before you can work there.  Hours worked prior to enrollment in CSW and worksite assignment by CSW do not count towards CSW hours worked.  Clients may not count work at worksites prior to CSW assignment.
If you fail to contact your assigned worksite by the date on your work assignment letter, the worksite will return your timesheet to the CSW coordinator, freeing spaces at the worksite for other CSW clients. Some worksites limit the number of clients assigned, and weekend worksite availability is limited. If you fail to contact your worksite, your space is needed by other CSW clients.
The worksite will return your timesheet to the Probation CSW coordinator. The Probation CSW coordinator will send a closing report directly to the Probation officer or the court.
Yes, ask your worksite to request a proof of completion. This is a box that can be checked on your timesheet. When your timesheet is returned by the worksite to the CSW coordinator with the proof of completion requested, you will receive a copy of your closing report at the mailing address on your CSW application.
Yes.  After you are assigned to a worksite, a worksite change fee of $25 for juveniles and $50 for adults is required when your assigned worksite is changed due to failure to maintain a work schedule, follow worksite rules and regulations, or upon client request.  Worksite changes may not be accomodated if worksite is specified by court order, probation referral, or other worksite restrictions/conditions.


No. Your CSW hours must be completed prior to your expiration date. Credit is not given for hours completed after the expiration date.
  • If you are unable to complete your ordered hours by the completion date, you will need to request an extension of time from the Court or Probation Officer.
  • The CSW Coordinator is not authorized to grant extensions.
  • Court ordered clients must report to the Probation Department and request a status report prior to appearing in court. The status report is required by the court.  Payment of the extension feeis required when requesting the status report. The extension fee is $25 for junveniles and $50 for adults.  Take the status report to the Court to request an extention.
  • If your Probation Officer ordered you to complete community service work, you must discuss extension requests with your probation officer.  If an extension is granted by your probation officer, the extension fees will apply.


  • To complete your ordered community service work hours in another county or state, you must report to the probation department with your paperwork from the court or probation officer.  Juveniles must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
  • You must complete the application and waiver of liability and pay the full enrollment fee.
  • A timesheet with instructions will be mailed to the address you provided on your application. It is your responsibility to locate a public or non-profit agency in your county or state to perform your ordered community service work and to return the completed timesheet to probation by your expiration date.
  • This program no longer accepts clients ordered to complete community service work from another county or state. If you were ordered community service work hours in another county or state and would like to complete them in Santa Barbara County, you will need to contact the court or agency that ordered your hours for instructions on completing your community service work.


  • Complete and submit your application and other paperwork quickly (within 1 week) after csw is ordered by the court or your probation officer.
  • Do NOT wait until near your deadline.
  • Contact your worksite when you receive your worksite assignment letter and arrange your work schedule.
  • Go to your worksite and work as assigned by your worksite supervisor.
  • Follow the rules, directions and procedures of the worksite supervisor.
  • Show up on time, dressed appropriately and have a pleasant attitude.
  • Complete all your hours as soon as possible.  Do NOT wait until near your deadline.
We recommend that you bring copies of all your paperwork from the attorney and the court to your area Probation CSW coordinator for clarification.


Yes, however, the client must first report to the Court Clerk and obtain a Court CSW Referral. A CSW referral is required for all clients to apply to the CSW program.
The required program fee amount is based on a fixed application fee ($50 for Adults and $25 for Juveniles) plus $2 per hour of community service work ordered.
Yes. Clients receiving public assistance (Cal Works, Food Stamps, Social Security Income, or General Relief) may have their application fees waived. The client must provide current proof at the time of enrollment.
Yes. An installment payment plan is available for clients who do not qualify for the fee waiver, but cannot pay the entire program fee at the time of enrollment. There is an additional $20 fee for juveniles and a $30 fee for adults to set up an installment account.
No. Extensions are not subject to the waiver policy. If a client is granted an extension by the Court or PO, the extension fee must be paid to complete the hours. The extension fee is $25 for juveniles and $50 for adults.
No. CSW hours completed through this program must be performed at an approved worksite assigned by the Probation Department's CSW Coordinator. CSW worksite coordinators try to place clients at their preferred worksites. Worksite preferences cannot always be accommodated as the worksite may have too many clients, or may have a restriction on the type of offenses that they are willing to accept.
No. Clients must first enroll and then be sent to an appropriate and approved worksite by the CSW coordinator. Clients cannot count hours previously worked towards fulfilling CSW requirements.
Yes, however this may take some time, depending on the organization's completion of the required documents. The Board of Supervisors resolution requires all entities approved as worksites to carry liability insurance and to sign a document indemnifying the County. Organizations interested in becoming a CSW worksite can obtain the required documents here. Clients cannot perform any work at potential worksites until after the organization's documents have been submitted and approved.
  • Instruct client to apply to CSW program by completing the CSW Application within seven days of being referred.
  • Instruct client to call CSW Info Line at (805)882-3649 for automated program information. The Info Line can be accessed 24 hours a day and will provide vital program information in English and Spanish.
  • Instruct client to contact the assigned worksite by the report date on their work assignment letter to arrange a work schedule.
  • Instruct client to treat their work assignment as employment by maintaining arranged work schedules, dress and behave in appropriate manner, and maintain communication with the worksite supervisor.
  • Encourage your client to promptly apply for CSW and to complete their hours promptly. Clients who wait until the last minute tend to have more problems with getting their hours completed on time.
No. The worksites will submit the client's timesheet directly to the CSW Coordinator. The CSW Coordinator will in turn process an official Closing Report and submit it to the Court. You or your client may request a copy of the Closing Report from the CSW Coordinator for your records.
Yes. After obtaining a CSW referral from the Court or Probation Officer, the client must report to Probation to complete the CSW application and pay the required enrollment fee BEFORE returning to their county or state of residence. The CSW Coordinator will process the application and mail the client an Out of County Community Service Work Instruction Letter and Timesheet to the address the client provided. The client will be responsible for locating a public or non-profit agency in their community to perform the ordered community service work and for returning the completed timesheet to probation by the court ordered completion date for verification.The CSW Coordinator will verify the hours and submit a Closing Report to the Court or Probation Officer.