Source: (2003) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Repositioning Restorative Justice. Devon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 149-166.

The option of community service has been in use for many years. Some consider it to offer many possibilities, in terms of both punishment and rehabilitation. Depending on the legal framework, community service can be understood in various ways. It can be seen as an alternative to incarceration, as a special educational tool, as a rehabilitative measure, or as a keystone in a system of restorative justice. The status and use of community service in Belgium reflects much of this variety. Hence, while juvenile justice in Belgium is generally oriented around an educational and protective approach, the variety of perspectives on community service has resulted in many different programs and practices. Delens-Ravier takes this context and examines how juvenile offenders in Belgium perceive community service, especially with respect to all the relationships he or she has experienced in the community. The question is the extent to which community service helps the young offender re-establish social links or reintegrate into the community.