Steubenville Municipal Community Service Program Generates Success

The recent frigid temperatures convinced Steubenville Municipal Court Community Service Program Coordinator Julie Shriver to assign her community service workers to janitorial duties in the city hall facilities.

“It is too cold outside for the workers to be out picking up litter. I know I wouldn’t want to be outside in this weather for several hours. So we will stay inside today,” she decided.

Shriver has a special feeling for the community service workers she is supervising for the municipal court because she once was one of those workers.

“I was going down the wrong track when I was younger. I had to appear in municipal court, and former Judge Dan Spahn assigned me to two years in the community service program to keep me out of trouble. And those two years changed my life for the better,” Shriver recalled.

The community service program allows approximately 200 nonviolent offenders who cannot pay their fines and court costs to work in the program.

Shriver is attending Eastern Gateway Community College where she is studying for a two-year degree in criminal justice.

“When I am done at EGCC I plan to transfer my credits to West Liberty University to get a four-year degree. I am interested in working as a probation officer, and a four-year degree will be better when I am looking for a job,” she noted. “I always try to stay in a positive mood and work hard to make a better life for my three kids. I am a big believer in doing the right thing so good things will happen to me.”

According to Mascio, Shriver is one of the success stories in the community service program.

“I knew Julie when I was the police prosecutor, and I saw she did a very good job, so when we had a retirement and moved our previous coordinator, I immediately thought of her for this job. She came through the program and is now a role model for the community service workers,” Mascio said.

Mascio said the community service workers mowed 738 vacant lots, cleaned city streets 121 times and the police station facilities 232 times in 2016.

“The city was looking at a $50,000 bid for janitorial work in the City Hall complex but we are doing it for free. … I would rather work with someone who can’t pay their fine and court costs and allow them to pay off those fines through the community service workers program,” he said.