Grandma was right!  Church will keep you out of jail.... at least in Bay Minette, AL. There, a city judge is offering misdemeanor offenders a choice: work off their sentences in jail or attend church every Sunday for a year.Go to jail or church in Bay Minette, AL

Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says the program could change the lives of people heading down the wrong path. So far, 56 churches are participating.

The ACLU of Alabama was quick to respond and will be addressing the issue more formally on Monday:

"While we certainly support alternatives to putting people in prison, Operation Restore Our Community flagrantly violates the Constitution and we intend to send a letter to Bay Minette officials demanding that this illegal program be suspended immediately. In the face of mounting budget deficits, states and local jurisdictions are right to embrace cost-effective alternatives to incarceration that hold people accountable while better addressing the root causes of crime. 

But it is a fundamental principle of the Establishment Clause that the government cannot force someone to attend church. When the alternative to going to church is going to jail, the so-called “choice” available to offenders is no choice at all." -- Olivia Turner, Executive Director of ACLU of Alabama

Church or jail.... only in Alabama.

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The government cannot force someone to attend church. When the alternative to going to church is going to jail, the so-called “choice” available to offenders is no choice at all." -- Olivia Turner, Executive Director of ACLU of Alabama


All I can say is THANK YOU ACLU for being the smart one in the room in this particular situation!  This is part of the faith based initiative push....use religious organizations to slowly but surely take over the social safety nets, the criminal justice system and the public education system...it saves $ and 'keeps the government' out of the equation...it also keeps civil rights out of the equation!

ramen!
"Think I'll be taking jail, your honor". That would mess with their heads, huh? Let's all go to Bay Minette and get arrested. (Dear admins, that was a joke)
Wouldn't that blow their minds if someone did choose jail instead? lol

ha ha...that would be harsh punishment indeed.

 

Is such choice given to Muslim offenders or just Christian Offenders and if not isn't this  De Jure religious discrimination? If it is offered and there are no Mosques in the area, isn't it De Facto discrimination?

I get a kick out of this. This is probally brought to you from the same people who cry out against Sharia Law but want to impose their version of Christian law. Hypocrites....

And the logic of the sentencing fails because nobody can MAKE somebody pay attention to a church sermon...humans have the ability to selectively listen....they can 'zone out' at anytime and just 'go through the motions'.   Like many others, I certainly perfected this behavior as a teenager! 

 

There can be no compulsion with religion...it just isn't effective.  Yes, it would be PUNISHMENT...but it doesn't create a better person as an end result anyway.  Why not just put them out in the public square in a pillory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillory.  We certainly seem to be taking a few steps backward in our criminal justice system lately.

 

They may actually learn A LOT more on jail...seriously.
OK Judge.  I'll go to church.  Ohh, really?  I get to choose the church?  In that case, make it Anton Lavey's Church of Satan!

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