Sunday, September 25, 2011


In a small town called Bay Minette in a faraway, possibly imaginary, place called Alabama, non-violent misdemeanor offenders will have an unusual choice when facing their judge - either go willingly to church for a year or do the time in jail.  Odd that the city fathers view both as punishment. Good thing no misdemeanants already attend church in Bay Minette or there wouldn't be much of a choice for any of them, but clearly no church goers have ever committed crime in Alabama...except for a couple of recent Governors.
I wonder if there are any Rastafarian churches  Rastafari movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in Bay Minette, for an especially uplifting service Entheogen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia? or perhaps a religion featuring peyote. Peyote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here's an excerpt from an article about your favorite town in Alabama: 

Non-violent offenders in Bay Minette now have a choice some would call simple: do time behind bars or work off the sentence in church.
Operation Restore Our Community or "ROC"...begins next week. The city judge will either let  misdemenor offenders work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year.
If offenders elect church, they're allowed to pick the place of worship, but must check in weekly with the pastor and the police department. If the one-year church attendance program is completed successfully, the offender's case will be dismissed.
Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says it costs his department about 75 bucks per inmate per day.Rowland says the ROC program will be cost-effective and could change the lives of many people heading down the wrong path.
So far, 56 churches in North Baldwin County are participating in ROC.  (Full Article: Serve Time In Jail...Or In Church? | WKRG
Here's a further exert from another article with, you guessed it, lightning bolts from the ACLU: State ACLU Executive Director Olivia Turner says the alternative sentencing program "flagrantly" violates the Constitution. She says the government cannot force someone to attend church. She says that when offenders must pick between prison or religious services, they do not have a true choice. (Full Article: ACLU: Bay Minette Cannot Impose Church Sentences | WKRG)