A conversation with Judge Carlos Moore.
This week, we had the opportunity to speak with Judge Carlos Moore. Moore was born and raised in Mississippi where he was appointed as the first African-American Municipal Judge for the city of Clarksdale. He is an active participant in several bar associations including the American Bar Association, National Bar Association, American Association for Justice, The Mississippi Bar, Magnolia Bar Association, Mississippi Association for Justice, and the Grenada County Bar Association. He is a former Vice President of the National Bar Association, past Deputy General Counsel for the NBA, past Deputy Chief of Staff to the NBA President, past NBA Region V Director, past Board Member at Large and past Chairman of the Young Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association.
Judge Moore's Alternative Sentencing Program
Moore has a unique, refreshing approach to the justice system he serves. He is very passionate about taking steps to ensure justice is served in a way that is non-detrimental to youth. One way he strives to do this is through alternative sentencing that provides unique, creative, and individualized consequences in place of standard fines or jail time.
Moore wrote in an instagram post:
"As a judge I love alternative sentencing especially for young people. Today I announced that I would give an 18 year old young lady a break on a speeding ticket if she brings me back proof that she voted in next Tuesday's general election or writes a 500 word essay on the importance of voting. Then I told a 17 year old young man that if he pulled up one of his Cs to a B by his next report card I would withhold adjudication on a misdemeanor ticket. Our young people are our greatest treasure and if I can encourage them to be their best and do their best I'm happy."
Moore believes that alternative sentencing can be particularly helpful for young people who have accepted responsibility for their wrongdoings. He strives to make an impact on young people's lives by giving them choices or alternatives to jail or fines that promote rehabilitation instead of punishment. His approach should serve as a model for Judges around the country.
Alternative Sentencing - Does it Really Work?
States that implemented alternative sentencing between 2004 and 2006 lowered their recidivism rates by 1.136%, or 2.527% of the initial rates.
If youth offenders are not given the tools to better themselves or learn how to adjust their behavior, there will not be any improvements and their criminal records will grow.
Alternate sentencing focuses on low to high risk offenders. Due to the nature of the sentencing, it is normal for more than one kind of alternate sanction to be given to a single delinquent juvenile.
Alternative sentencing shields offenders from the stigma of institutionalization, help offenders avoid associating with youths who have more serious delinquent histories, and maintain positive ties between the juvenile and his or her family and community.
It has been found that treatment programs that include opportunities for employment or a behavioral focus were very beneficial because they not only targeted the origin of the criminal act, but also helped the youth offender find different outlets for their energy.
Check out this TED Talk to learn more about alternative sentencing:
This week's interview with Judge Moore can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM2VestC5Mg