If you embezzled $850,000 from your company and blew it all gambling, you'd go to jail. If you're a nun, you might only get house arrest. That's what happened in the case of Sister Susie, a nun at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. For ten years she'd lose several thousand dollars at Atlantic City every week -- money that belonged to Iona College, not her. Instead of jail, though, she just gets confined in a convent.
"She covered up the thousands she would lose by systematically submitting false vendor invoices for reimbursement to Iona College and submitting credit-card bills for personal expenses to be paid by Iona College," said US Attorney Preet Bharara.
Defense attorney Sanford Talkin stated her criminal behavior was a result of terrible childhood abuse. When Sister Susie was gambling . . . she was able to stop the suffering internally. Gambling gave her a feeling of freedom, a feeling it's about her for a change," Talkin told the court. "You're not dealing with somebody who is trying to buy a diamond necklace."
Now the nun is in solitary confinement in a Philadelphia convent.
"She can't even go to the store and get milk," a source told the New York Post. "My belief is she never will be." Sister Susie told the court she was dreadfully sorry.
Source: Irish Central
I don't suppose that confinement in a convent is the best way to spend your time, but I suspect that it's better than prison -- especially if you're Catholic. And what if Sister Susie decides to give up her status as a nun? Would the convent have to let her go, free and clear? Could they keep her against her will?
I think that the private prison system is already a problem, but I don't want it to expand by having the responsibility for incarcerating criminals outsourced to convents.