A prisoner and guard (Image Source via Associated Press)
It's chow time in "The Barracks," the Gwinnett County jail's brand new housing unit just for military veterans, and Jack Cleveland has just finished his potato chips.
He crumples up the bag and, arms flush with colorful tattoos, welcomes a reporter to the table he's sharing with two other incarcerated veterans.
Cleveland, 37, admits that he's done plenty of wrong in his life. His current stay at the jail is the result of the latest in a lengthy string of arrests; the accrued offenses range from disorderly conduct and drug possession to family violence-battery. He is, as he puts it, in the dregs of his life.
"I just feel like I don't know what to do with myself when I'm on the outside," he says.
But Cleveland has done good, too. He was in Marine Corps basic training when the Twin Towers fell. He worked on aircraft and served his country in a time of war. It was the best, most meaningful time of his life.
Like a growing number of similar initiatives across the country, The Barracks is aimed at reminding Cleveland of what all that was like — and giving him a better chance of success when he gets out.
Talk about a punishment that fits the crime: a pair of Montana men who lied about serving in military to get their cases to a state veterans court ended up getting an extra lesson in respect for the U.S. armed forces.
Two gang members were convicted on Thursday of murdering a 19-year-old U.S. Marine in Los Angeles in Sep. 2016.
Oscar Agular, 28, and Esau Rios, 31, were both found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Lance Cpl. Carlos Segovia Lopez, who was visiting his girlfriend on weekend liberty when he was killed. Aguilar was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.
Robert Bales, the former Army staff sergeant who killed 16 Afghan civilians, including seven children, will likely ask the president to commute his life sentence once he exhausts his legal appeals for one of the nation’s most notorious war crimes.
To take a migrant child from her parents at a U.S. point of entry, place her in a just-erected government tent city, and keep her separated from family costs the federal government a whopping $775 per child per night, according to the Department of Health and Human Services — more than twice what it would cost to house the children in detention with their families, and nearly six times more than a brigadier general's or rear admiral's housing allowance for New York City.