About the Mandated Volunteer Program
The Mandated Volunteer Program (MVP), administered by the Volunteer Center of North Texas, places and monitors eligible court-mandated individuals (clients) in volunteer positions to fulfill community service hours assigned as a condition of probation. MVP helps enforce mandated community service requirements, while improving the clients’ lives and strengthening communities throughout North Texas.
The program originally began in 1981 as a partnership with the Dallas County ' Criminal Courts, State District Courts, and Dallas County Community Supervision and Corrections Departments, and today also works with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Memo Agreement. MVP now serves all North Texas counties and also includes municipal courts by placing both adults and youth 14 years and above. Local school districts also participate by ordering students who violate State truancy laws with chronic truancy behavior to perform volunteer hours, which often helps these students refocus and succeed academically.
- About 516,000 volunteer hours contributed last year through criminal courts
- More than 50,000 clients served since 1981; About 9,000 clients served last year alone
- 554 participating nonprofit organizations
- Consistent and reliable administrative procedures and policies to refer, document, verify and report court-ordered volunteer hours worked
- Effective matching of organizational needs and offense restriction with court-ordered volunteer's skills, availability and interests
- Development of diverse and geographically distributed nonprofit worksites
Utilized by these host organizations:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Probation departments
- Truancy courts
- Criminal justice systems
- Universities and colleges
- School districts
How are MVP clients processed?
- Clients are referred by the courts to the Volunteer Center and participate in a personal interview with MVP staff
- Clients are matched with organizations according to their interests, availability, skills, and based upon the restrictions of the criminal offense
- MVP staff monitor client progress and reports to the courts when the assigned hours are completed
Who cannot participate?
The Volunteer Center’s policy excludes clients from program eligibility if they have been arrested and or charged with sex offenses; harm or injury to a child or an elderly person; or aggravated offenses involving serious bodily injury. Serious mental health issues can also disqualify clients.
Organization participation criteria:
- The organization must be a nonprofit or governmental entity and provide services to the general public that enhance the social welfare and general well being of the community. Agencies are enrolled into the Mandated Volunteer Program (MVP) based on their provision of direct local services and agreement to supervise and document MVP work of court-ordered volunteers.
- Participating agencies must have at least one paid staff member in order to insure proper supervision and tracking of hours. A volunteer cannot supervise a court-ordered volunteer.
- Participating organizations may not discriminate in serving MVP volunteers or in the provision of agency services on the basis of race, sex, age, marital status, religion, disability, race, national origin or any other non-merit based factor.
- Agencies with purposes that are primarily political or fundraising are not appropriate for MVP.
- The primary purpose of the organization shall not be to serve the economic or social needs of the members of the organization. Fraternal or social organizations are excluded.
- Church-based or sponsored agencies may not use MVP volunteers for worship, religious education, or facility maintenance or improvement of church property used for these religious purposes. MVP volunteers may perform volunteer work for participating church sponsored programs which are available to the public. (i.e. food pantries, after school neighborhood youth programs, immigration counseling, homeless shelters and feeding programs of churches.)
- MVP will not enroll or refer court ordered volunteers to any agency located at an individual’s residence. MVP may refer court ordered volunteers to group residential properties operated by nonprofits if agency staff supervision is present.