something you put into your body to make yourself feel better (for example: alcohol, marijuana, cocaine)

Abdul Shanwaz (easy version)

Before Abdul Shanwaz went to live in Canada, he had been in jail for three years. While he was in jail he was hurt in many ways. He was hit. He was given shocks. He was hung upside down. He was choked. Because of what happened to him in jail, Abdul went blind in one eye. Possibly, what happened to him also hurt his brain and made it hard for him to think well.

In Canada, Abdul started selling drugs and he was caught by the police.

In court, a judge called Anne Molloy decided that Abdul should not go to jail. She gave two reasons for this. First, she said, jail would be very hard for Abdul because it would make him remember all the bad things that happened to him the first time he was in jail. Second, she said that Abdul had not been making money selling drugs. He was working for free for the people who were making money. Anne decided that for the next seventeen months, Abdul had to spend most of his time at home and that, when he wasn’t at home, he would have to wear a kind of radio that would tell the police where he was.

The government thought that Anne had been too kind to Abdul, so he was brought back to court. This time there were several judges. Most of these judges thought that Abdul should go to jail for six years, so that is what happened. But one judge, John Laskin, thought that this was a mistake. He thought that Anne had been right to be kind to Abdul.

- information from the Toronto Star, 00.11.09