Ohio Judge Orders Woman to Spend Next Five Christmases in Jail

Judge Holbrook makes lawbreakers go to jail only on their favorite holiday.

ByABC News
July 23, 2013, 11:15 AM
Judge Michael J. Holbrook is shown in a photo from the "Re-elect Judge Michael J. Holbrook" Facebook page.
Judge Michael J. Holbrook is shown in a photo from the "Re-elect Judge Michael J. Holbrook" Facebook page.

July 23, 2013— -- An Ohio judge has sentenced a woman convicted of illegally selling drivers licenses to five days in jail - the next five Christmas days.

The unusual sentence for Betina Young, 44, of Columbus, is what Judge Michael J. Holbrook calls a "Holbrook Holiday."

The judge of Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse asks the convicted defendants for their favorite holidays -- their birthday, the Fourth of July -- and then sentences to them to spend that day in prison.

"I've been doing this for nine years now," Holbrook told ABC News. "I take some date that is important to the individual and make them give it up. For example, if they celebrate Christmas, I would make them go to jail for three to five days during the Christmas holiday so they miss Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their families."

Young was sentenced to her "Holbrook Holiday" on Monday for issuing state ID cards and driver's licenses to immigrants who entered the country illegally, according to the Associated Press. In addition to five years probation and a $3,000 fine for tampering with state records Young must also go to jail each Christmas for the next five years, Holbrook said.

"In Young's case, as in other cases where I have done this, I thought that the gravity of the situation deserved some sort of reminder of what could happen if they do not comply with their probation," Holbrook explained.

If Young violates her probation she would be sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to her sentencing report.

Holbrook said he got the idea from federal court judges who will sometimes sentence individuals to jail on every federal holiday throughout the year.

"I could make them go to jail on every holiday if I wanted to," Holbrook said. "But I just make them go on their favorite day, like their birthday. In one case I made one man who was very involved in his community go to jail on the Fourth of July."

Holbrook estimates that he has given "Holbrook Holidays" to approximately 40 people.

"With the cost of prisons rising in Ohio, this really is an alternative and effective form of sentencing," Holbrook said.