A community service program is established as a sentencing alternative. The sentencing judge or magistrate may allow a person convicted of a misdemeanor who qualifies for the community service program to elect to perform community service work. The community control department shall establish the guidelines for the qualification and administration of the community service program.

The community service work may be performed for the following:

(A) As a condition of suspended confinement;

(B) In lieu of confinement; and/or

(C) In lieu of payment of fines and/or court costs;

(D) As punishment.

Community service work may be ordered by the Court and approved by the community control department. Credit for same shall be given upon verification by the community control department and at the Court’s discretion. When a misdemeanant performs community service as a condition of a suspended sentence or in lieu of confinement, then an eight-hour day of work shall be equal to one day’s confinement.

When a misdemeanant is unable to pay fines imposed, the Court may refer him to the community service program. He shall be credited an amount equal to the then established hourly minimum wage for each hour worked or greater amount as determined by the Court.

Any violation of the community service program by a misdemeanant, including the requirements established by the Community Control Department or the sentencing judge or magistrate, is a violation of a court order and subjects that misdemeanant to sanctions provided by law.

A misdemeanant herein is defined as provided in R.C. 2951.02.(A),(B), and (F).