Lance Brown: Homeless Arrest for Food and Shelter

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
May 2, 2012|12:42 pm

In a sign of the desperate times that some people are facing, one Georgia man went to great lengths to be put back in prison so that he could have food and shelter.

Lance Brown, 36, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief after he threw a brick into a glass door at the Columbus courthouse building.

Brown, who was recently kicked out of a shelter after he suffered a nervous breakdown and got into a fight with another person, was running out of options of where he could turn for help.

So when he was faced with a decision that could put him in jail he took the brick and broke the glass door. He wanted to go to jail where he figured he knew that "someone's going to offer me a sandwich and drink."

Robert Marbut, a national homelessness consultant, explained that it is rare for homeless offenders to spend more than a night or two in custody, but Brown has spent nearly nine months waiting for his trial.

Marbut stressed the importance of the need to have alternative sentences to teach homeless offenders about "life skills, hygiene and nutrition" so that they would not end up back in jail.

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"That shows you how wacky things have gotten when we don't have as a society an intermediate program," Marbut said.

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore explained that there was no other choice than to charge Brown with malicious mischief, a crime with a 10-year maximum prison sentence.

"The unfortunate circumstances in which Mr. Brown found himself cannot be a justification for destroying property of the United States," Moore said.

"And while I am personally saddened by Mr. Brown's plight, I regret that he chose to violate the law instead of taking help from those who offered it," he continued.

When Brown addressed the court he stated that, "you can keep that probation … I will probably make you guys chase me all around the country a few times."

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