Group protests cost of second chance for first-time criminal offenders

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A demonstration is was held outside the Mecklenburg County courthouse Monday aimed at the district attorney's office.

The group is protesting the cost of a second chance for first-time offenders.

Protesters said they are upset with the way deferred prosecution is administered.

Members of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice and the NAACP held a news conference calling for the district attorney to reduce fees associated with the program

Last month, Channel 9 told you about the story of Rahman Bethea who was charged with theft.

It's his only mistake and because he was $900 short he could not qualify for deferred status.

Deferred status gives first-time offenders a second chance.

If they complete the program, their record is scrubbed which means they can get a job or go to school.

Rev. Rodney Sadler said getting equal justice should not depend on how much money you have.

"The courts have a middle-class standard and when poor people get caught in that system they get ground up we need to find a way for poor people to have adequate access to the division program,"  Sadler said.

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