Proud to fool courts re: community service

justice“Jay” of this IP address: (he didn’t give a real email address) commented on the most popular blog I’ve ever written, one where I exposed a company called Community Service Help, Inc. and its affiliated nonprofit, Terra Research Foundation:

I completed approx. 300 hours of community service online with some site and it was affiliated with the Terra Research Foundation back in about 2013. I work full-time and have far better things to do than complete community service and jump through the endless hoops the court system makes you go through in their attempt to “fix” me over a minor violation. I presented the hours sheet to my Probation Officer and he never asked what I was doing for community service exactly, and guess what, I never felt the need to tell him either. That’s his job to find out if it’s legit or not, not mine. He approved it once I completed all the hours and that was the end of it, I haven’t felt a single ounce of remorse for it either. We all moved on with our lives. So, kudos to anyone who has “fooled” the court system by completing online community service by watching videos. You made the right decision.

I’m so glad Jay wrote. Like others who regularly write to insult me regarding this blog, Jay really wanted to mock me for my hardline advocacy over the years against Community Service Help and Terra Research Foundation – both of which have taken down their websites and, apparently, have gone out of business (hurrah!). But instead, he provided a perfect comment that shows exactly why these organizations are unethical and even illegal: here’s a person admitting that it wasn’t really community service. He’s admitting it was a lie. He got away with it but, of course not everyone does. And, thankfully, at least some companies are getting targetted by law enforcement and paying a steep price for what the courts are seeing as not just inappropriate activities, but illegal activities.

The other downside of organizations selling letters affirming community service when, really, none has been done, is that this will make courts and probation officers all the more suspicious of virtual volunteering. As I’ve blogged before, I’ve worked with some people as online volunteers who needed community service hours for the courts, and they’ve all been terrific volunteers. Virtual volunteering is real volunteering. Organizations selling community service harm that message.

So, thanks Jay, for the great comment!

My other blogs on these companies that sell virtual volunteering and other community service in order to fool probation officers and courts, which include links to the various media articles about these companies:

Selling community service leads to arrest, conviction, July 2016 update on how Community Service Help has gone away, and the owner of the notorious the Caffeine Awareness Association pled guilty to a false-filing felony.

Haters gonna hate, November 2014 update on Community Service Help and other similar, unethical companies

Community Service Help Cons Another Person – a first-person account by someone who paid for online community service and had it rejected by the court.

Online community service company tries to seem legit, a November 2013 update about efforts these companies are making to seem legitimate

Update on a virtual volunteering scam, from November 2012.

What online community service is – and is not – the very first blog I wrote exposing this company, back in January 2011, that resulted in the founder of the company calling me at home to beg me to take the blog down

Online volunteer scam goes global, a July 2011 update with links to TV stories trying to expose these scam companies

Courts being fooled by online community service scams, an update from November 2011 that is the most popular blog I’ve ever published

4 thoughts on “Proud to fool courts re: community service

  1. Jay


    Thank you for showcasing my comment, along with my IP address, which didn’t seem necessary but it’s ok.

    Anyways, I’m glad you’ve made me the center of attention because I did want to elaborate a little more. Firstly, I do not want to come off as such a jerk as maybe my first comment came across and to start a pissing contest via the inter webs. Because you strike me as a person very set in her ways and we are never going to see eye to eye on this subject and probably many others for that matter. But why should we? We are two different people with a large age gap between us.

    You’re absolutely right that I knew that this online community service was bogus. Every month I went into the PO’s office with the log sheet I was just waiting for him to ask about it. But there wasn’t much to lose in giving it a try. Other than a few hundred dollars, which was a risk I had to take. But again, it is not my job to indulge any information to anyone in law enforcement unless asked. His exact job is to investigate things of this nature. So that’s why I am extremely proud that I was able to sneak by on this one, because I honestly deserved it. I did my time, I paid all the fines. I have a good job that I’ve worked hard to achieve. 300 hours of community service is absolutely ridiculous. And is just a start of what’s wrong with our judicial system. Community service should be done by good people who genuinely want to give up their time voluntarily. Not forced upon these awful criminals who shouldn’t even be allowed to breathe the same air as you good citizens (sarcasm).

    Because what I will never, ever understand is that lets say the crime is substance abuse related. Most likely your drivers license will be revoked. Fair enough. But you need to maintain your job still. You need to pay these fines still. You’re broken, we’ve gotta fix you! You must go to AA twice a week. You have to do community service. But wait, you can’t drive to any of this! Did we mention those court fines are due? What time do you work, so we can make you randomly drug test 10 minutes beforehand, even though you’ve never done drugs a day in your life. Blah, blah, BS.

    Nope! Sorry, Jayne. I have no respect for a system like that and I will cut every corner possible to make sure myself and my family are provided for. Not wasting time picking up trash for a community I don’t live in but did the crime in. Get real. So obviously the watching YouTube videos thing intrigued me and ended up working for me. I was lucky.

    I believe your energy should be focused on getting judges and probation officers put out of jobs for not doing their own job. Rather than busting internet scams that only try and help people who are looking for a little bit of a break

    I’m going to take a stab in the dark and assume that you’ve never been in a lick of trouble with law enforcement. So you won’t be able to relate and understand why doing community service is a terrible form of punishment to add to a persons sentence after they’ve committed a crime.

    Anyways, sorry for the rant.

    1. Elizabeth

      Hi, Jay.
      I’m a reporter who is interested in hearing more about your position on this matter. Would it be possible to connect via email?

  2. jcravens Post author

    Whether or not community service is an appropriate requirement for people that have broken the law is someone else’s blog.


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