Multnomah County Circuit Judge Stephen Bushong looked down and scratched at the back of his neck, like you do when you don’t like your options.

The judge had just heard, this morning, from attorneys in the case of Alexandra Barrett, the homeless woman whose many arrests and citations for camping-related offenses last year served as an impromptu battle ground over a City of Portland ordinance outlawing camping on public property. That fight eventually came down on the city’s side, with Bushong ruling the camping ban is perfectly legal, even while warning that it wasn’t good policy.

The ruling meant Barrett had to stand trial earlier this month for 18 misdemeanor offenses—most related to her homelessness. A jury convicted her of 17 of them.

The options Bushong didn’t like this morning, then, had to do with how to sentence Barrett.

A prosecutor had just argued the woman should be treated sternly, asking she get a year in jail.

"She’s been on misdemeanor and felony probation, and has failed both,” Deputy District Attorney Andrew Sherwood told the judge. "Ms. Barrett at this point needs to be sent a message.”

Barrett’s public defender, meanwhile, agreed Barrett shouldn’t be put on probation. Defense attorney Francis Gieringer said Barrett chafed under court-ordered supervision, and had a better shot out in the homeless community—a place where she’s accepted, but has also lapsed into drug use. Gieringer asked Bushong to give her 30 days in jail.

"The plan from both of your perspectives is: She gets some jail time, gets released from jail, and what?” the judge asked. "She goes back to doing what she has been? Don’t you have a better plan? Does anybody have a better plan?”

No one did.

Barrett, wearing a white jail jumpsuit and sporting a braided mohawk, first declined to speak up for herself or answer questions about what she'd like to do with her life. But when Bushong indicated he’d prefer to assign her community service, she interjected: “Max me out, please,” she said. “I just wanna be out.”

She’d take jail and jail alone, if possible. She didn't want community service.

So Bushong scratched at his neck and thought for a minute, then quietly delivered his ruling:

"I don’t think we as a community benefit by jailing people because they are homeless," the judge said. "My preference would be to have Ms. Barrett do community service. That’s not the state’s preference. That’s not Ms. Barrett’s preference or her lawyer's preference."

The judge gave Barrett 60 days in jail, which will put her out at roughly the same time she'll be released for violating her probation on another misdemeanor case. He suspended her fines.

"Hopefully when she’s released from custody she’ll figure out a plan," Bushong said. "There's only so many things I can do here."