Judge locks himself up with inmate to better understand how it feels like being in jail


Judge Lou Olivera and Joseph Serna 
By: Tanya Malhotra

(Scroll down for video) A judge in North Carolina, wanted to experience life behind bars so he locked himself into a prison cell for a night along with a man who was sentenced to prison.

Former Green Beret Sergeant Joe Serna of Cumberland County, was sentenced to serve 24 hours in prison after admitting to lying in court about his urine test, following a conviction of driving while intoxicated.

To the inmate’s surprise, District Court Judge Lou Olivera, who handed down the sentenced, locked himself up along with the prisoner.

Olivera said that he wanted to experience what it feels like to be locked up behind bars.

The judge also wanted to help out the prisoner as he had served the country and as a result, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

In addition to being a judge in the district court, Olivera serves in the veterans treatment court. Serna is a decorated war veteran.

After three combat tours in Afghanistan, he began suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and was charged with driving under the influence.

Serna then entered a program through the veterans treatment court.

Olivera said that he was concerned about the effects of a night in prison would have on Serna, so he decided to join him and keep him company.

Olivera claims that he would have done the same thing for any other inmate who is sentenced by the veterans treatment court.