Convicts get a chance to serve God
Convicts in Georgia can now serve their time working for the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Clerics and prosecutors have struck a deal allowing criminals convicted of minor crimes to serve their sentences in the monasteries of the impoverished Caucasus Mountain nation.
They say the move will help relieve overcrowded jails while helping the church renovate monasteries destroyed in Soviet times.
Prison chief Khatuna Kalmakhelidze says the deal will help inmates do "socially valuable work".
Church leader Metropolitan Theodor said the convicts would be able to build or maintain monasteries in this predominantly Orthodox Christian nation.
Georgia is still overcoming the economic crisis caused by the 2008 war Russia over a breakaway province.