and as usual, I am surprised at how it went but not at the outcome. After charges were read and described, the GAL was on board with everyone else in that difficult child never tried since being released from Department of Juvenile Justice in the spring and would most likely end up doing worse and/or be harmed himself if not in a higher structured environment. He told the judge that there was nothing at home to cause this and that he had spoken to difficult child and did not think difficult child was too concerned about current punitive actions. Then he said it did appear that difficult child was starting to think a little about the bigger picture because difficult child told him yesterday that he was concerned about what this was doing to me. (SHOCK!) The GAL said that I was possibly facing being put out of my home and cannot get assistance with difficult child incarcerated and he was glad to see difficult child starting to think about all this and the implications and effects on his life when he is released from Department of Juvenile Justice next time, assuming that's what the sentence would be. (GAL must have talked to PO or I don't think he would have worded this so delicately.) Everyone asked for reduction of the felony charge to a misdemeanor, or at least everyone was ok with def attny requesting it. Defense attny then told judge that he no longer thought difficult child had MH issues (I think their definition must be different than mine.) And then he told the judge he thought I had something I'd like to say. I told the judge that difficult child had expressed being able to do what he wants in Department of Juvenile Justice and feels it is easier there because he doesn't get into trouble for it like he does when he's being supervised by PO and me so I realize there is probably no better option than Department of Juvenile Justice, however I am asking for the charge to be reduced because I am concerned about the effects long term incarceration is having on my son. Also, my son was letting people put cigs out on his body so I do think there is a lot going on there that might not be apparent on the surface. The judge nodded, wide-eyed, like he thought that was obvious. Then he said the law was clear on a charge like this and for a child's mother to have to sleep with her money to begin with, then for a child to cut it out of her pockets and steal it while she's sleeping and to do so within days of being released from detention, is justification for a felony charge and it will remain a felony. He said if difficult child would do that to his mother, what else would he do to someone else and that makes it a communmity issue (translate that into "for the safety of the community") therefore difficult child is sentenced to committal to state Department of Juvenile Justice for an indetermined amount of time. And it was over. They did allow me to hug difficult child before handcuffing and escorting him out, which is a first. This judge is relatively new as compaared to some of the others and apparently still learning what living with a difficult child is really like. When he commented on a mother having to sleep with her money in her pocket, I wanted to blurt out, "Oh, that's nothing judge- you should hear what else other warrior moms and myself have had to do to try to prevent major catastrophe in our lives!" LOL! Farmwife, in our state, felonies are not dropped from a record ever, even juvenile felonies. This is difficult child's third one. He has about 19 misdemeanors although some of those are parole violations and/or status offenses. We estimated difficult child's length of stay in Department of Juvenile Justice this time will be 12-24 months but will have to wait until Department of Juvenile Justice gets him in custody and processes him to find out anything more specific or definite. I'm already advocating for a group home upon release, since difficult child will be old enough for one this time. (Or at least should be.) Also, PO said that even though it was only one positive drug test, it will be difficult child's mandatory "treatment" focus in Department of Juvenile Justice to get the substance abuse program. That might be the best thing that's ever happened to difficult child if they have a good program and if any of the boys going thru it with him are making any effort. You know how they say that it's the stinking thinking that causes the addiction, not results from it?