Authorities say non-violent offenders in Bay Minette, Ala. now have a new choice: Go to jail, or go to church every Sunday for a year.

WKRG-TV reports that Operation Restore Our Community begins next week.

The city judge will let misdemeanor offenders choose to work off their sentences in jail and pay a fine; or go to church every Sunday for a year.

If offenders select church, they will be allowed to pick the place of worship but must check in weekly with the pastor and the police department.

If the one-year church attendance program is completed successfully, the offender's case will be dismissed.

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Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says the program could change the lives of people heading down the wrong path. So far, 56 churches are participating.