Sentenced to Church

Some drug and alcohol offenders in Laurel County can choose to attend worship services instead of going to jail or rehab.

The option is being offered by District Judge Michael Caperton. He says church attendance can help some of them find spiritual guidance.

But critics say the practice violates the Constitution's separation of church and state.

Among the critics is David Friedman, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. He says the practice strays from government neutrality toward religion.

Caperton says it's not a church-state issue because it's not mandatory. He says he uses the phrase "worship services" instead of church.