Drug treatment ordered for burglar who took copper pipes

Drug treatment ordered for burglar who took copper pipes

URBANA — A Champaign man who admitted breaking into a home in Champaign and stealing copper has been sentenced to three years of probation.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd ordered that Kawame Johnson, 23, whose last known address was in the 200 block of East Roper Street, should receive residential drug treatment during that sentence.

Johnson, 23, pleaded guilty in October to a burglary he committed on July 15 to a home in the 200 block of Garwood Street.

Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Bennett said at the time of the guilty plea that a television and bicycles were stolen and copper pipes were cut out, causing the basement to flood.

The metal was sold for recycling and damage to the house was put at more than $13,000, Bennett said.

Court records show Johnson had a prior misdemeanor theft conviction and a juvenile adjudication. He had not had a previous chance at drug treatment, the judge noted.

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aantulov wrote on November 29, 2013 at 10:11 am

This punishment does not fit the crime. Someone could have been killed. Mishandling of pipes like these can cause explosions. The homeowner may lose the home because the insurance may not cover the amount. If there was a renter they may not have had renters insurance.  No where is the word restitution mentioned. RESTITUION,RESTITUION,RESTITUION, RESTITUION,RESTITUION, What is the court going to do about that?"He had not a chance at drug treatment" says the article. What does this mean? Is the court paying for it? Is there no where in town he could have received treatment voluntarily without cost? I don't believe that is true. He had other convictions why was this not ordered then?Jail is not the answer.However, having residential treatment out of town, out of the sphere of influence of dealers, gang, organized crime, ineffectual parents, and false friends might make a difference.Making a commitment to the armed services would also serve this function. Can judges still order this? Do our armed services have a civilian corps for those who are less that first choice applicants? Does our state offer any relocation for a job program in cases like this? Is he bound to help out in times dissaster efforts during this probation time or simply continue to cost his neighbors expense?I don't see a future for this man in this town without jobs,  or free tuition at a community college for skills,  besides more of the same, why did this judge not take the opportunity? Are they trying to fill the prisons?