Newsbrief: Chattanooga Jail Full, Faith-Based Alternative Sentencing Offered to Drug Offenders 11/1/02

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Nonviolent misdemeanor drug offenders in Chattanooga, TN, who face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, will be offered thrice-weekly meetings with church counselors and job training instead, city officials announced October 24. The move came as the Hamilton County Jail faced state decertification because of overcrowding. The jail has a capacity of 498 prisoners, but held 660 on October 21, when a state inspector took a count, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.

"Project Transformation" will be voluntary, stressed Chattanooga officials, although at least one addressed the paradox of free choice behind bars: "The program cannot take on the mask of being voluntary when the net effect is either enter this program or go to jail," said General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck in an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

No news reports mentioned anything about drug treatment.

The program is set to start next month, the News-Sentinel reported, and was designed by Hamilton County officials. But two private foundations and a locally based trucking company are picking up the $240,000 tab. The Caldwell Foundation is a Chattanooga-based educational foundation, while the McLellan Foundation promotes "strategic international and national organizations committed to furthering the Kingdom of Christ and select local organizations, which foster the spiritual welfare of the community," according to its web site. Covenant Transport president David Parker was the third funder, said the News-Sentinel. Covenant's web site has lots of information about trucking, but nothing to indicate any religious affiliation.

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Issue #261, 11/1/02 Editorial: The Space Between the Lines | Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Says Feds Can't Punish Doctors for Recommending Medical Marijuana | Learning the Hard Way in Ohio: The Trials and Tribulations of Issue One | DRCNet Book Review: "Addict in the Family," by Dr. Andrew Byrne | DRCNet Interview: Dr. Harry G. Levine | More Than 700,000 Marijuana Arrests Last Year -- Meanwhile, Violent Crime on Increase | November Coalition Roadshow Hits East Coast | DRCNet Survey/Book Giveaway Contest | Newsbrief: Rockefeller Kin Arrested in Rockefeller Law Protest | Newsbrief: Euro Parliamentarians Found Guilty, Scolded by Judge in Manchester Marijuana Civil Disobedience | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: UN Says Afghan Opium Crop Up Almost Twenty-Fold Over 2001, Trade Employs a Half-Million People | Newsbrief: Liberia Prepares to Join the Drug War | Newsbrief: Chattanooga Jail Full, Faith-Based Alternative Sentencing Offered to Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Mississippi Supreme Court Bars Telephonic Warrants, but Says It Was Okay Just This Once | Newsbrief: Seattle Initiative to De-prioritize Marijuana Enforcement Makes 2003 Ballot | Media Scan: William F. Buckley in National Review, 2002 Voter Guides and Election Resources | Calling on Students to Raise Your Voices for Repeal of the HEA Drug Provision | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar
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