Alabama: go to prison or go to church for a year

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    Sep 23, 2011 7:39 PM GMT
    I can't wait for a Muslim or a Buddhist to challenge this in court. (Um, unless they define a mosque or a Buddhist temple as a "church")

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/23/national/main20110680.shtmlBAY MINETTE, Ala. - Authorities say non-violent offenders in southern Alabama will have a new choice: Go to jail, or go to church every Sunday for a year.

    CBS News affiliate WKRG-TV in Mobile reports that Operation Restore Our Community begins next week.

    The city judge in Bay Minette will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

    If offenders select church, they'll be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and police.

    If the one-year church attendance program is completed, 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.
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    Sep 23, 2011 7:44 PM GMT

    Sooooo christians are allowed to break the law now.

    Aw fuck, Alabama. *facepalm*
  • Bigolbear

    Posts: 528

    Sep 23, 2011 7:51 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI can't wait for a Muslim or a Buddhist to challenge this in court. (Um, unless they define a mosque or a Buddhist temple as a "church")

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/23/national/main20110680.shtmlBAY MINETTE, Ala. - Authorities say non-violent offenders in southern Alabama will have a new choice: Go to jail, or go to church every Sunday for a year.

    CBS News affiliate WKRG-TV in Mobile reports that Operation Restore Our Community begins next week.

    The city judge in Bay Minette will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

    If offenders select church, they'll be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and police.

    If the one-year church attendance program is completed, 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.


    No matter how much they state that it doesn't violate the separation of church and state it actually DOES. You face jail time if you do not elect to go to a church for committing a crime. Also, there is a list of approved churches, who is approving that list? They are controlling your faith options. They are even controlling your ability to not believe. You can argue the point that they do still give you the option of jail, but you are basically boiling it down to providing an uneven playing field, freedom if you do believe jail if you don't.
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    Sep 23, 2011 8:00 PM GMT
    Yeah, this is so unconstitutional that I'm surprised it was even considered, much less passed as a law.

    Is it going to save money? Possibly, since fewer people will be in jail.

    But is it liable to be abused? You betcha.
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    Sep 23, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    That's the way to do it !! Condemn them to church so they can learn bigotry for jesus.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 23, 2011 8:26 PM GMT
    Alabama is stupid. This is no surprise.
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    Sep 23, 2011 8:33 PM GMT
    I drove through alabama once. It was shocking how downtrodden the houses looked. It was surprising then to see the nice healthy looking churches amidst the sunken-roofed shacks of its congregation.
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    Sep 23, 2011 8:57 PM GMT
    SkinnyBitch saidI drove through alabama once. It was shocking how downtrodden the houses looked. It was surprising then to see the nice healthy looking churches amidst the sunken-roofed shacks of its congregation.

    It might for them to go to jail then, since they get housing and food there. Not to mention free health care. icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 23, 2011 9:57 PM GMT
    icon_wink.gif

    I'm gonna be a republican! I'm going down there next week and opening a mosque! Bet I'll make loads of money off these idiots.. In MY mosque, we'll be partying!.. music dancing computers poker etc..
  • creature

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    Sep 23, 2011 10:36 PM GMT
    I can't wait for this to be struck down as unconstitutional.
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    Sep 24, 2011 3:28 AM GMT
    And I can't wait for you people to get a fucking clue.

    Bay Minette is a city, in one county. It is not the State. And the Alabama Supreme Court will strike this down once it comes up, if it isn't revoked by the county/city by then. Just like the 10 Commandments monument.

    As far as driving through Alabama and seeing down-trodden houses. How about you actually take a drive through ALL of Alabama...not just one route?

    Go riding through the Highlands or Spann Farms in Dothan, Ala. Take a ride through Auburn, Ala just outside of the campus. Take a trip to Eufuala, Ala (where houses were used for the movie Sweet Home Alabama). Gadsden, Selma, Hoover, Level Plains, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Orange Beach, Vestavia Hills, Prattville.

    There are shitty houses in every state...why you singled out Alabama as having the "down-trodden" is assinine and a load of shit.

    How about before all of you ignorant people start passing judgement on a culture and people you obviously don't understand - you actually take the time to meet more than just a handful of us, or even see more than what's on one street.



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    Sep 24, 2011 8:07 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI can't wait for a Muslim or a Buddhist to challenge this in court. (Um, unless they define a mosque or a Buddhist temple as a "church")

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/23/national/main20110680.shtmlBAY MINETTE, Ala. - Authorities say non-violent offenders in southern Alabama will have a new choice: Go to jail, or go to church every Sunday for a year.

    CBS News affiliate WKRG-TV in Mobile reports that Operation Restore Our Community begins next week.

    The city judge in Bay Minette will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

    If offenders select church, they'll be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and police.

    If the one-year church attendance program is completed, 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.



    If offenders select church, they'll be allowed to pick the place of worship

    However, is it likely unconstitutional – yes.
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    Sep 24, 2011 8:09 AM GMT
    TropicalMark saidicon_wink.gif

    I'm gonna be a republican! I'm going down there next week and opening a mosque! Bet I'll make loads of money off these idiots.. In MY mosque, we'll be partying!.. music dancing computers poker etc..


    And don't forget a pig roast.
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    Sep 24, 2011 10:34 AM GMT
    Unless the place of worship is on the list, I don't think one can select it. You can't call an imam or a monk a "pastor" either. I looked up on google if there are any mosques in that city and they are all closeby but not in the city itself.
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    Sep 24, 2011 1:28 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidUnless the place of worship is on the list, I don't think one can select it. You can't call an imam or a monk a "pastor" either. I looked up on google if there are any mosques in that city and they are all closeby but not in the city itself.


    I'm sure 'close by' would be acceptable, but that doesn't change the great likelihood that upon appeal it would be declared its unconstitutional.
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    Sep 24, 2011 1:35 PM GMT
    Wow. Just Wow.

    Absolutely sickening.

    Separation of church and state anyone?
  • roadbikeRob

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    Sep 24, 2011 3:20 PM GMT
    This is forcing religion upon people against their will. It appears that Alabama is going to violate the US Constitution in any way possible in order to become a theocracy. Hopefully the federal courts will strike down this horrendous law.
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    Sep 24, 2011 4:21 PM GMT
    So....*grins*

    ...do they have to live in the church like they'd have to do in prison? Where would they sleep? In the pews, I guess. I wonder if parishioners would want to go to a church filled with live-in criminals?

    O.o
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    Sep 24, 2011 4:29 PM GMT
    meninlove said So....*grins*

    ...do they have to live in the church like they'd have to do in prison? Where would they sleep? In the pews, I guess. I wonder if parishioners would want to go to a church filled with live-in criminals?

    O.o

    I guess being an Atheist gets you different judicial treatment in parts of Alabama (where I lived for 2 years, BTW). And the issue of following a religion other than Christianity hasn't been answered. What if you're a Buddhist, or follow Shinto? I guess you go to jail, no options for you, or else convert.

    And as noted above, I love that churches have "signed up" for this program, meaning that if your church isn't on the approved list, it doesn't count. Even if a Christian you have to select from one that's sanctioned by the State, even if not your denomination, contrary to your religious beliefs. Isn't there some kind of US Constitutional violation going on there?
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    Sep 24, 2011 4:30 PM GMT
    ConfederateGhost saidAnd I can't wait for you people to get a fucking clue.

    Bay Minette is a city, in one county. It is not the State. And the Alabama Supreme Court will strike this down once it comes up, if it isn't revoked by the county/city by then. Just like the 10 Commandments monument.

    As far as driving through Alabama and seeing down-trodden houses. How about you actually take a drive through ALL of Alabama...not just one route?

    Go riding through the Highlands or Spann Farms in Dothan, Ala. Take a ride through Auburn, Ala just outside of the campus. Take a trip to Eufuala, Ala (where houses were used for the movie Sweet Home Alabama). Gadsden, Selma, Hoover, Level Plains, Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Orange Beach, Vestavia Hills, Prattville.

    There are shitty houses in every state...why you singled out Alabama as having the "down-trodden" is assinine and a load of shit.

    How about before all of you ignorant people start passing judgement on a culture and people you obviously don't understand - you actually take the time to meet more than just a handful of us, or even see more than what's on one street.





    ^This is true. Alabama is one of the prettiest states in the union. Tuscaloosa is located on the Black Warrior River, which is a sight to behold. I grew up there, and have been to church conventions in every city you named.

    As for the going to church, meninlove brought up a good point. Where will they stay? Or will they be like Sister Husband from "Where the Heart Is" and pray for forgiveness after committing the same sin every day? I can just see the usher board and the nice, prim and proper ladies passing judgement.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 24, 2011 7:15 PM GMT
    It's supposed to save the prison system money, i.e. people stay at home but are required to attend church. Like parole except with a religious twist.

    The "close by" mosques are 38 miles away, BTW.
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    Sep 24, 2011 7:45 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidIt's supposed to save the prison system money, i.e. people stay at home but are required to attend church. Like parole except with a religious twist.

    The "close by" mosques are 38 miles away, BTW.
    Wanna go in together with me on it? How many should we build? icon_wink.gif
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    Sep 24, 2011 7:46 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidUnless the place of worship is on the list, I don't think one can select it. You can't call an imam or a monk a "pastor" either. I looked up on google if there are any mosques in that city and they are all closeby but not in the city itself.
    Bummer.. well then we'll just be pastors in a party Mosque, they wont know the difference.
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    Sep 24, 2011 7:46 PM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    q1w2e3 saidIt's supposed to save the prison system money, i.e. people stay at home but are required to attend church. Like parole except with a religious twist.

    The "close by" mosques are 38 miles away, BTW.
    Wanna go in together with me on it? How many should we build? icon_wink.gif


    Sorry, atheist here.icon_lol.gif
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    Sep 27, 2011 11:20 PM GMT
    Delayed but the chief is "confident" it'll be implemented later this year:


    http://blog.al.com/live/2011/09/jesus_jail_sentencing_alabama_delay.html
    Originally slated to begin today, the faith-based "Restore Our Community" program, the brain-child of area church leaders, offers first-time, nonviolent offenders appearing in Bay Minette Municipal Court the option of attending the house of worship of their choice each week for a year instead of receiving jail time or other punishments.

    "We are just simply running it back through for final legal review and a final stamp of approval by the city attorney," Rowland said. "If he gives us that, then we’re going to move forward with it on the next court day, which will be Oct. 11. And I believe that’s going to happen," he said.
    ...
    Rowland said input from ACLU, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and other agencies has been helpful.

    "We appreciate them coming forward with it because it gives us the opportunity to see their side of it and to address the issues that they have concern with," he said. "I believe we’ve already addressed the issues."

    The alternative program will not be offered to all defendants. The judge will make that determination, Rowland said, calling the ROC program another sentencing option in the judge’s arsenal. Offenders who try the program and find it’s not working for them can go back before the judge for a different sentence, according to Rowland.


    OK, so if a judge decides not to offer it to a defendant, will the latter appeal based on the judge's or the defendant's religion or denomination?

    One commentator on that site:
    "So what do they do if the lawbreaker worships Satan? and chooses a Satanic Church?..."

    Can of worms...