Christopher Dewees has a history. He was charged with theft in 2015 he has spent much of the past three years in and out of a courtroom.
Now, on a collision course with a prison sentence--Christopher Dewees is about to get a lifeline.
“The very person that prosecuted you is saying they want to see what happens", Judge William Kephart said in court. “I think that’s a pretty proactive approach for the District Attorney to take.”
Dewees is the first person to be accepted into Hope for a Second Chance. It's a new program through the District Attorney’s Office that redirects those potential prisoners to a form of therapy.
“He’s got to do a lot of work", District Attorney Wolfson told us after the hearing. "He’s going to be mentored by probation, but hopefully he’s going to succeed this time and stay out of trouble.”
Woflson believes that Christopher, who applied to be a part of the program, is an ideal candidate. Judge William Kephart didn’t sound so sure.
“I believe you’re at a point where you should be revoked. Why should I be giving you an opportunity again and put you in this program?” Kephart asked Dewees. “I feel like I’m 33 years old and I’m tired of doing this. When I’m in a structured environment, that’s where I excel", was the response.
Kephart’s point is this. The 33-year-old in shackles has already had a second chance. He avoided jail once and was accepted into drug court but he couldn’t stay clean. If it didn’t work then, why will it work now?
“On paper, this defendant didn’t really deserve a second chance,” Wolfson concedes. “But he’s never been given the significant help the Hope for Prisoners program will give him.”
Christopher Dewees will start the program with 30 days of inpatient drug treatment. He will then have to complete the Hope For Prisoners program which involves drug testing and the involvement of his family.
If he fails at any point, Judge Kephart tells us he will be going to prison.