Three people in Pennsylvania (USA) were ordered by a judge to learn to read and write in English. If they don't comply within a year, they will serve 4 to 24 months in prison. (Here's the link to the article ).

I understand the judge's reasons, of course, but my first reaction to that was one of amusement. I found it funny because I don't think a similar sentence would be possible in my country (I might be wrong, though, since I know very little about law).

Is this sort of "creative sentencing" common in your country?
Can you provide some examples of punishments given by a judge as alternatives to jail?
Wow! That's interesting!

If you were a lawyer, which would you rather have for your client? Two years in jail for a crime they did commit and were convicted of, or four months in jail plus something that will help them succeed where they are living? Did you note that he also connected them with an employment agency?

The only type of creative sentencing I'm familiar with usually is communtiy service. The person who is in a drunk driving accident having to go to high schools to talk about what happened to discourage others from doing the same thing, that sort of thing.
Hi Barbara,

Thanks for answering!

From your answer, I understand people in the USA may be sentenced to do some sort of work which will benefit part of the community they live or work in, right?
Does that include also manual jobs? I remember that, here in my city, a guy was found guilty of spoiling a great number of buildings with his graffiti. Since he wanted to declare his love to a girl, he had covered all the walls from her house to her school with his graffiti. Besides being heavily fined, he was also ordered to re-paint those walls again (which took him quite a long time Emotion: smile ... the number of the buildings was pretty large!).

But ... there's a difference with the case of the three people in the article, right? They were sentenced to do something which will benefit themselves, rather than the community (however, also the community will gain something, although indirectly). That was - to me - astonishing. I was wondering if this depends only on the judge, or also on the legal system ...
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Well, it said that this judge was known for his unusual sentencing. I think he'd rather see people rehabilitated than simply punished. I wonder where in Pennsylvania he is.
Hoho, they must be happy! Just imagine if this story had happened in China!