Municipal Court, Lawson State partner on alternative sentencing initiative
The city of Bessemer’s Municipal Court and Lawson State Community College on today announced a new initiative aimed at giving misdemeanor offenders in the city an opportunity to clear their record and learn job skills.
Operation Arrested But Corrected (A.B.C.) is a program developed between the two institutions to create an alternative sentencing and continuing education program in the Bessemer community. The program will give defendants arrested for a misdemeanor in the city of Bessemer an option to enroll in certification and job training courses through LSCC after his/her court appearance. The program will be an alternative to serving jail time, officials said.
Involvement in the program will be at the discretion of a municipal court judge. If the defendant successfully completes the desired courses, the misdemeanor charges will be dismissed at no cost. The partnership will also help offenders find employment opportunities once the alternative sentencing phase is completed.
The initial phase of the program will start in the summer/fall of 2019 and will involve only court offenders. However, Municipal Court Magistrate Dr. Maurice Muhammad said the campaign could be expanded in the future to include those outside the court system.Offenders will have an opportunity to be engaged in one of three programs offered through LSCC’s Adult Education Program:
- Certified Nursing Assistant Program,
- Certified Construction Apprentice Program,
- Class B CDL.
To learn more, contact Magistrate Dr. Muhammad at (205) 426-8602.