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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Failure To Incarcerate Worked Better Than Prison

Cornelious "Mike" Anderson with his wife and daughter
At 23 Mike Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in prison for taking part in a robbery at a Missouri fast food restaurant. At that time he was told to simply wait for orders as to when and where he should report to prison.

Due to a clerical error, Mike was never picked up to serve his sentence. Only after the mistake was detected less than a year ago was he apprehended and placed behind bars.

Mike had never tried to hide from the law, and in the meantime turned his life around, started his own construction businesses, got married and had children, coached football for a youth league and was active in his local church.

Mississippi County Judge Terry Lynn Brown, in reviewing his case last week, took only ten minutes to announce his ruling. Mike would get credit for all of his years of being a model community citizen and for the nine months he spent after being arrested last year, and would not even need to be on supervisory parole.

His defense attorney said, "He has been able to accomplish for himself what the criminal justice system does not accomplish in many situations." The judge agreed, saying, "You've been a good father and husband. You've been a good taxpaying citizen of Missouri."

Is the moral of this story that more first time offenders should be given the chance to work at their rehabilitation in their communities rather than being sentenced to ever longer prison stays?

It's certainly worth thinking about.

Information from an AP article in the May 6, 2014, Daily News-Record.
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