Jesus or jail? Alabama town offers options for serving time
An Alabama town is offering low level crimals a choice - Jesus or jail.
September 27th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Jesus or jail? Alabama town offers options for serving time

(CNN)–If you're charged with a nonviolent crime in one Alabama town, you might just have the chance to pray it all away.

Starting this week, under a new program called Operation ROC (Restore Our Community), local judges in Bay Minette, Alabama, will give those found guilty of misdemeanors the choice of serving out their time in jail, paying a fine or attending church each Sunday for a year.

The goal of the program is to help steer those who are not yet hardened criminals the chance to turn their lives around. Those who choose to go to church (there are no mosques or synagogues in the area) will have to check in with a pastor and the police department each week, CNN affiliate WKRG reported. Once you attend church every week for a year the case would be dismissed.

Police Chief Mike Rowland said the measure is one that would help save money and help direct people down the right path. Rowland told WKRG it costs $75 a day to house each inmate.

Read the full story from CNN's This Just In.
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Church and state

soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. crvzcba

    DV6Aij dgivqdfblzaw

    January 29, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  2. lnxbhuckgea

    ffwTEh lbeulpewsmeg

    January 26, 2012 at 11:10 am |
  3. skot013

    Couldn't they just have the criminals watch The Lord Of The Rings or some other silly fantasy movie every Sunday. Same difference, except that wouldn't be throwing their free minds away to religion brainwashing.

    January 12, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  4. jameser35

    Let me guess, a good Christian church that interprets the bible a certain way.

    December 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Is there any other kind?

      December 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  5. ValPro

    Unfortunately, many will do it ONLY because they want to avoid jail. That in turn will not bring free will. Rarely, if any, there will be those who will truly dedicate themselves to becoming better people.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.