Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


The following cost/benefit case study researches the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department's alternative sentencing Community Service Program. The CSP offers nonviolent, criminally charged youth the opportunity to perform community service at various nonprofit organizations in lieu of incarceration in juvenile hall. This study highlights the benefits received as well as the associated costs incurred by juvenile offenders and nonprofit organizations as a result of their participation in the Community Service Program. Suggestions for further research and possible improvements to the program are discussed after the case study findings and results are presented.

For the case study, current participants or recent graduates of the program received correspondence inviting them to participate in a one-on-one interview to discuss their experience in the Community Service Program. The San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department provided names and contact information of qualified juvenile offenders. The department also extended information regarding the nonprofit organizations eligible for participation and willing to accommodate the juvenile offenders with their imposed community service sentence.

Interviews with the nonprofit organizations determined various benefits the juvenile offenders could gain by completing their sentenced community service hours. The staff and administrators explained the goals of the organization, the different services the youth could perform, and ways the organization aimed to help educate the youth with job skills and social maturation. Associated costs the nonprofit organizations experienced with program administration and participation were also discussed during the interviews.

The individual interviews with the juvenile offenders addressed the assigned tasks the youth performed and the perceptions they had regarding the nonprofit organizations and how they benefited from participation in the Community Service Program. The youth were also encouraged to describe areas in which they had the opportunity to learn and grow.

Information from all the interviews was compiled and reported, offering statistical information on the case study participants, as well as qualitative interpretation of the data. Analysis of this case study information along with the information provided by the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department suggests areas for program improvement and further research.