As a Kansas criminal defense attorney, I often see people get trapped in the system. However, a Lexington, Kentucky man brings a whole new meaning to this understanding. 64 year old Henry Early has been arrested more than 1,500 times. He is set to appear in court on a probation revocation after being arrested for alcohol intoxication last week. Drugs and alcohol are a common theme in repeat offenders. This guy spent his third Thanksgiving in jail out of the last 5 years. He has spent collectively about 6,000 days in jail in his lifetime. Henry goes by the name James Brown when he stands on the corner and dances and sings for money to buy his drinks. The Lexington police say that he is arrested at least once a week, if not multiple times a day, mainly because he is so drunk that he poses a threat to himself.
The judges have been handing out harsher punishments for him recently, such as 3 months in jail, so he has only been arrested 5 times this year. However, in the past they have tried giving him opportunities to go to rehab and become sober but he has always fallen back off the wagon. Almost everyone in town knows who Earl is and is hoping that this year he might be able to finally kick the habit.
The co-founder of Lexington's Catholic Action Center consider Earl a friend and wants to get Earl into a non-profit, all-volunteer center in which it will only cost $2.50 per night to provide him shelter. This is in contrast to the $80.00 per day it costs taxpayers to keep him in jail. Unfortunately, he keeps telling them he is not ready. I wonder how much it has cost the tax payers in lawyer fees, via a public defender?