Judge Orders Homeless Man to Get a Job

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on December 11, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Scott Huber of Naperville, Ill. is well-known for a number of things. The homeless man is kind of a local celebrity -- he poses for pictures, blogs and ran for mayor.

His downtown "protest site" (complete with an electric generator) even led to an outpouring of community concern.

But now he's in the news for something completely different. A local judge has ordered the homeless man to get a job. And if he doesn't, he may go to jail.

Huber was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of trespassing and disorderly conduct earlier this year, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Judge Karen Wilson decided last week that he would serve probation instead of jail time.

But the terms of probation require him to undergo job placement training and to work at least 10 hours a week. Scott Huber objected, but Judge Wilson told him, "I feel like you have certain skills to assist yourself that you are not tapping into."

He has a degree in horticulture and once ran an electronic repair shop, explains the Chicago Tribune.

Technically, a judge can order an unemployed or homeless defendant to get a job. Terms of probation are left to a judge's discretion. Some judges require jobs, while others demand community service or psychiatric counseling. The goal is to rehabilitate.

In the case of a homeless person, a job is arguably the first step to rehabilitation. With a job, Scott Huber can get off the street and avoid repeating his past legal mistakes.

But will he really go to jail if he remains unemployed? That's up for debate.

Defendants who violate the terms of their probation are often required to serve time. Probation is a privilege. But as long as Scott Huber adequately tries to find work in Naperville, he should be fine. It's not his fault if no one will hire him.

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