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60 Days in Jail or Just Hand Out Candy?
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Judge Michael Cicconetti has been at this for a long time.  Handing out "creative" sentences that is.  He's been known to offer the option of spending time in jail or:


  1. Donate food to an animal shelter (for a man who shot a dog)
  2. Ride a donkey through the streets
  3. Wear a chicken suit
  4. Stand among pigs for two hours in the center of town


There are more. But on April 11, 2018 a young man was in front of him who had been caught after stealing a life preserver from a park.  The judge tried to impress upon him that someone could have drowned in the pool and nobody would have had a life preserver to throw to them.


But he offered the boy two options: 60 days in jail or:


Then the judge pulled out big bag of Lifesaver candy rolls. He told Hasenauer he was going to spend four consecutive Saturdays this summer handing out the candy and telling park visitors on the pier how to tell if someone is drowning and what to do.

The boy decided against the jail time and took the judge's offer.


Discussion Starters

  • Why do you think Judge Cicconetti does this? 
  • Do you think Judge Cicconetti's "creative sentencing" deters criminal behavior better than jail time - or does it let them off too easily and jail time would really teach an offender a lesson?
  • How would you respond to someone who says that this practice creates a problem of "sentence disparity" (different consequences offered to criminals who commit the same offense) and that this disparity could then lead to not only unhappy offenders (who had to take jail time), but also to additional possible litigation from these other offenders?


Imagine this


You are found guilty of the same crime but in a different area of your state and you are given the standard sentence: jail time. How would you feel if you found out that someone else served their sentence just by handing out candy and getting no jail time?


There's more to this story and an activity in the MindTap course for the text Criminal Justice in America.  Check out the video below to find it.  You may want to use the video and its accompanying questions as an ungraded or graded activity.



Click here to log into MindTap and take a closer look at this exercise.

1 Comment

Really neat activity @michael_britt