Arkansas Code Title 5. Criminal Offenses § 5-4-323. Additional conditions--High school diploma or high school equivalency diploma--Employment training

(a)(1) As an additional requirement for suspension of sentence or probation, a court may require any person who is sentenced for a felony or a Class A misdemeanor to make a good faith effort toward completion of a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma approved by the Department of Career Education unless the person has already achieved a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma.

(2) The additional requirement under subdivision (a)(1) of this section shall be implemented only:

(A) After the appropriate school or adult education program has received notice from the court at least ten (10) working days prior to the person's making application to enroll so as to allow a school or adult education program official to review the person's educational records;  and

(B) Upon the acceptance of the person by the administrative head of the school or adult education program.

(3) If no appropriate school or adult education program can be found, the additional requirement under subdivision (a)(1) of this section is of no effect.

(4) In the alternative, the court may allow the defendant to pursue a prescribed course of study or vocational training approved by the court that is designed to equip him or her for suitable employment.

(5)(A) After consultation with the school or the adult education program, the court shall determine the appropriate documentation for a person participating under a provision of this section and shall report any documentation of school or adult education program participation on a quarterly basis to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

(B) The office shall then report to the Department of Career Education.

(b)(1) Unless the person is employed or has a skill that will facilitate immediate employment, the court may require any person sentenced for a felony or a Class A misdemeanor to make a good faith effort toward obtaining gainful employment by participating in an appropriate employment training program as an additional requirement for suspension of sentence or probation.

(2)(A) The additional requirement under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be implemented by the person's reporting to the local workforce center for registration, intake, and employability skills assessment.

(B) If the person is on probation, the additional requirement under subdivision (b)(1) of this section shall be accomplished in conjunction with the probation officer.

(C) In addition to the employability skills assessment, the person shall register for employment with the local workforce center and upon obtaining employment shall communicate the event to the:

(i) Court if on suspension of sentence;  or

(ii) Probation officer if on probation.

(c) As used in this section, “good faith effort” means a person:

(1) Has been enrolled in a program of instruction leading to a high school diploma or a high school equivalency diploma and is attending a school or an adult education course;  or

(2) Is registered for employment and enrolled and participating in an employment-training program with the purpose of obtaining gainful employment.

(d) A person who fails to make a good faith effort to comply with a court order issued under this section upon conviction is guilty of a violation and shall be punished by a fine of at least one hundred dollars ($100) but not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).


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