A Boston prosecutor has offered five juveniles arrested at the parade for the New England Patriots Super Bowl vitory an unusual deal: read Michael Patrick MacDonald’s “All Souls” and deliver a 2,500-word report on its meaning, and the charges will be dropped. “I want them to know that their behavior — the disrespect, the rowdiness, the foolishness — leads to other problems in life,” said Suffolk County prosecutor Daniel Conley said. “When you read a book like ‘All Souls,’ you understand there are many choices in life, and poor choices can lead to a life of misery. They should appreciate the Patriots for their success, but they shouldn’t act like fools when they come into the city.”
Police charged the youths with disorderly conduct. One 15-year-old boy beaned others in the crowd with a can of “silly string.” Three other boys threw snowballs and bottles. In all, 37 people were arrested at the parade. Prosecutors said the youths must deliver reports next month to a judge on lessons they learn from the gritty memoir, a 263-page account of one South Boston family in the 1970s as it dealt with poverty, drugs, crime, suicide, and survival in a housing development. Craven called the punishment “appropriate” and said it won’t be the first time she has required juvenile defendants to read a book. “Any time we can get youths to read, it’s an enriching experience for everyone,” she said.