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60 Days in Jail or Just Hand Out Candy?
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60 Days in Jail or Just Hand Out Candy?

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.

 

Does "creative sentencing" work, or does this practice create a problem of "sentence disparity" (different consequences offered to criminals who commit the same offense)? 

 

Here's an activity you'll find in your Criminal Justice in America text which will let your students grapple with this question. (Note: you must be a member to access this activity. Not a member? Learn how to register for the community!)

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