The courts have become very creative as they try to reduce prison populations. Today, many courts across the country are ordering first offenders to take classes rather than sending these individuals to jail or prison. These court ordered classes may provide counseling to those convicted of crimes while teaching them how to change their behaviors and develop new coping mechanisms.
Types of Classes
Courts have ordered individuals to participate in many types of classes. For example, teen parents and those embroiled in custody battled may be sentenced to parenting classes, while those convicted of domestic violence may be required to take domestic violence and anger management courses. Teens and adults who shoplift or steal may be ordered to take criminal behavior modification, impulse control and larceny courses. Those with drug or alcohol convictions and their victims may be required to take public intoxication, drug and alcohol or substance abuse courses. Judges have even ordered pet ownership or animal cruelty courses.
Teenagers may also be required to take truancy, decision-making, bullying, truancy, minor in possession, shoplifting, texting while driving and HIV/AIDS awareness courses.
Any course these individuals take should be provided by an accredited provider. This means, they can’t just go to any institution or class to complete their sentences. They must find a provider the court has approved. If they are unsure whether a course meets the court’s requirements, these individuals should contact the court. A judge will provide guidance and may preapprove a specific provider’s course.
If those convicted of crimes don’t complete the coursework the judge assigned them, they may experience a number of punishments. For example, if they do not complete court-ordered DUI coursework, the court may revoke their driver’s licenses. If they fail to complete parenting classes, they may lose custody of their children. If coursework was given in lieu of jail time, the court may issue a bench warrant and put these individuals in jail to serve their sentences. Therefore, it is important to complete any coursework the court orders.
If you have been ordered by a judge to complete coursework, don’t waste time finding an accredited local or online provider, and start your course immediately.