A small-town judge in Alabama is giving non-violent offenders a choice at sentencing: go to jail or go to church.
Under a program dubbed "Operation Restore Our Community," the city judge in Bay Minette lets misdemeanor offenders serve time and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year, according to WKRG.com.
If offenders choose church, they can pick the place of worship as long as they check in weekly with the pastor and police. After a year of Sundays in the pew, the offender's case will be dismissed.
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. Rowland said the program is Constitutional because offenders get to choose between jail and church.
I think this is a good idea. I do think this is Constitutional since the criminals have a choice of a number of churches that they can attend or they can decide to go to jail. Plus, if you don't want to do the time then don't do the crime. Hopefully the criminals who choose to attend a church will take advantage of the opportunity to develop a relationship with God and to change their lives for the better.