Juvinile detention facility

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gwenny, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. gwenny

    gwenny New Member

    My husband is scared to send his son through juvinile detention facility. I feel maybe this could be a way to get answers and for the child to understand that we will not tolerate the threats.

    I'm looking for anyone who has chosen this route and would like to know if this was a good choice or regretted it? My husband threatens him with having him arrested but never does. I told husband put up or shut up because he knows your not going to.

    thanks again
  2. tracyf551

    tracyf551 New Member

    Do you mean for placement or for a look on how things could be?
  3. WSM

    WSM New Member

    Our difficult child has been threatened with it since he was about 10, 2 years now. The state atty general wrote him a letter thru his probation officer that if he breaks another law (he took a bb gun, a switchblade type knife, a paring knife and a razor blade to school, and has 3 felonies (the school ignored the razor blade because difficult child said someone in his family planted it on him and he was abused and they believed him) and three convictions), but if he breaks another law it's MANDATORY juvenile detention.

    Two of his probation officers and one CPS investigator and a couple police officers have all laid it out straight to difficult child what this means.

    difficult child is a small, red headed skinny white boy with ears that stick out. He looks like Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffin show. His last probation officer told him that he would be raped in Juvy, 'they can't watch you all the time', he explained what rape was. They've told him about being beaten up and pushed around and 'being someone's boyfriend'. In court difficult child has seen the huge 14, 15, 16 year olds who come into court shackled before the judge. "Those will be the people you will be living with".

    Juvenile detention in our county, in our state makes no pretensions about doing anything about mental health counselling. From what I understand, they'll give medications, and insist that rules are followed, but it's nothing more than a juvenile prison (notwithstanding what the website says about rehab).

    I think it's something to be avoided at all costs if you can. Maybe others have better news. Maybe your area is different.

    However, I think there are county and state run programs and facilities for rehab and mental health therapy. It's hard to find them tho, the schools don't want to tell you because then sometimes they have to pay for them, they don't want to pay $38,000 out of their budget for one student.

    But juvvy....I think you want to avoid that if you can.
  4. WSM

    WSM New Member

    If it's just for a Scared Straight program, I think those can be very effective. Our difficult child went to one for a weekend called Weekend Wilderness for 3 days. It was run military style. We were told to have him drink lots of fluids and eat well the week beforehand, and not to tell him he was going. He got dropped off thinking he was doing a orientation for his military school. He left at 9 am Friday morning and we got him back about 1 on Sunday. Then entire time he had 4 hours of sleep and one baloney sandwich the whole time. The rest of the time was exercise, endurance, being yelled at, and if they didn't follow the rules, punishment. We aren't all sure of everything that happened, but do know that one punishment was to hog tie the kid and drag him on the sand at the beach.

    It was a state sanctioned program and in our case paid for by the state as a part of an ESE scholarship and the military school he goes to.

    It was effective--for a while. But it wears off. And the associated military school is small and difficult child is the smallest kid there just about, and his problems don't include overt aggression, or hostility--so compared to the other kids, he seems sweet. They let him get away with a lot; and we suspect they think we neglect and mistreat him and are too harsh with him.

    Just today the director told my husband (who called to inform her that this weekend difficult child put his brand new birthday GPS system in the dishwasher and ruined it), that difficult child needs to spend alone time with him--just an hour a week. That's what difficult child needs.

    Why don't they listen? They've been told that difficult child and husband spend almost all day Sunday together working on projects...but... <shrug>

    Anyway, that's our experience with Scared Straight and Juvenile Detention. I'm sure it's different all over tho.
  5. gwenny

    gwenny New Member

    For him to get a taste of what the future holds for him if he keeps doing the things he does. We had the sherriffs at are home 5 times and they have threatened him and he tells them he don't care. The therapist told him what would happen if he goes there because your parents will have to do something, if you keep it up.

    The cps woman who came to investigate our home because he stated he was physcially abused (so untrue) said theres nothing she can offer but she said don't worry Im closing the case. gee thanks for the help I told her.

    Our sherriff said there is a place here that if we plead with the judge he could be placed there. The place he was talking about does deal with mental illness drugs and abuse and so much more. I went to this facility and they run it like a military school.

    I guess I'm just grasping at straws at this point.

    thank you
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    From the information your previous posts, I don't see that you can have him locked up. There are no laws against not listening, talking back, and not doing his school work. Honestly Department of Juvenile Justice is not the way to go to get any mental health help. You will end up paying for an attorney to defend him against the charges you bring against him. They will not pay for psychological testing or pysch treatment. The department of juvenile justice does not exist to handle unruly kids. What you need is a good family therapist, a good behavior management plan, and some really good testing done to see what is behind his defiance and rage.
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Sorry, I just saw that you have had law enforcement called in several time. Is he violent. If he is, you must call with every incident of violence. That is the one thing that can not be tolerated. The judge may place a child for violence against a family member.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    If you think he needs treatment, I'd stay as far away from JD as possible for as long as possible. JD is punishment, period. Nothing therapeutic about it. You will not get any answers about his behavior.

    I would absolutely call the doctor and tell her to get a fire lit on that treatment plan. I would also get the ball rolling on requesting a full evaluation through the school district so he can return to school.

    Having said all that, and hindsight being a little closer to 20/20 - my son is without question mentally ill. Not psychotic usually but his perception is totally off kilter. He is not so mentally ill that any court would refuse to hold him responsible for his actions as an adult. I do have to wonder if he had been held legally responsible (rather than have yet another admission) for his violence after a certain age (14, 15, 16) if it would have made a difference in his current situation. I don't know.

    Just my opinion, and some board members disagree with me (viva the board! ;) ) - barring an acute psychotic episode, violence is never excusable based on a mental illness diagnosis. I don't care if he's cycling or depressed or manic - violence is violence and there needs to be legal consequences. But you do need to understand that if you go that route, you really can't expect "treatment". You might get it if you're lucky but don't expect it. Again - just my opinion.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think if it comes down to needing to suffer the natural consequences of his actions, detention is not a bad idea. Youngest spent a weekend in juvy once and it made quite an impression on her. However... getting him stable and getting behind what's going on should be your first priority ... or rather, his father's. Some of this behavior screams out as attention seeking to me ... especially when there is a divorce involved. Hopefully you can find someone who he can relate to about it.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is a very tough call and one that should be considered very carefully, as I know you are.

    We did go down this road when our difficult child was 14. We had had the police out several times for unruliness, running away, domestic violence, drinking, etc., and the juvenile detective threatened her several times that he was going to send it downtown at some point and he did. She has been to juvenile court about seven times over the past years and at one of those the magistrate took her right to detention from Friday morning until Monday morning. They did this to try to teach her a lesson and it did. She hated it and everything about it and vowed she would never go back. However, it didn't stop the acting out after about a six month break and she did find herself back in court several times after that.

    We had to hire an attorney and we did get the charges all expunged because in the whole scheme of things, her offenses were minor compared to what they were dealing with there.

    But we were lucky because our community police worked well with us and did have her best interests at heart and didn;t want to just punish her but wanted to teach her a lesson. They told us it works one of two ways, either the juvenile is scared to death and straightens up, or they learn more bad things while in there. We took the chance and were lucky that is turned out ok. She is much better now but we are not out of the woods. She isn't acting out like she was before and she hasn't broken any laws.

    If you are on good terms with your police and you hire an attorney that specializes in juvenile crime and actually cares about his clients and can get the courts to work with him, it may work. BUT it can backfire too.

    I guess what I'm saying is I think you will know when you get to that point, when you have exhausted all other avenues and the behavior is escalating to a dangerous level.

    I understand your husband's fear. We had that also and my husband was very much against it, but he also knew there was no other alternative at the time.

  11. There been .... many times where I was close to call them in. When she one night suddenly was missing from her room, I was close to call the police but ended up phoning a couple of parents and some other parent also discovered an empty bed, but we found them ourselves.

    The reason that I hesitates is that I am afraid that she would get used to it after some days or weeks. Our juvenile system is not that fast. It suffered a great deal after the hurricane. The lawyers are few and money lacks. She would easy end up staying inside for 14 days before she could be released back to us and I often ask myself if it would end up introducing her to the really bad boys and girls in our county. I know from my cousin that it is not just structure and rules they learn in there. It is also all kind of bad stuff.

    He had some tough years and adjusted so well to the juvenile detention that he functioned better inside that outside. He had to move up north and start over, so he could get his life back on track. I would think twice. I am counting the days so my daughter can be sent on a 3 weeks canoeing. It would be 3 weeks of crying for me, but right now I can not see any other choice.

    Hugs to you in such a difficult situation.
  12. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    Don't expose your child to the Juvenille Justice System. There are county crisis lines that don't involve the authorities. Use them. There are hospital treatment programs- use them. Don't allow the Juvenille Justice Sytem to intervene on your behalf, and possibly ruin your childs life. Remember that once someone is in the system, there in for life even if the record is sealed from the general public.
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Stef -- at some point the crisis lines, the hospitalizations and even the RTCs run out of ideas to reach some kids. While I agree that the JJS should not be the first place people turn, for some families at the end of their rope, it may be the only thing that keeps the rest of the family safe.
  14. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused

    I agree, there does come a point where there is no alternative. But when that point comes, one must realize there is no turning back. Personally, I'd rather have control- not them. I don't believe police care about the person any more than getting them off the street. That's their job. After that, it's up to the courts to decide.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Department of Juvenile Justice should be a total last resort, in my humble opinion. Once "the system" gets control of your difficult child you will not be able to influence what happens...period. Although they will administer medications, as someone stated earlier, it has been our experience that the decision on what medications and what doses
    is totally made by the government MD.

    In Florida they try to send the kids to a level that is consistent with the behavior shown. The key word is try. When our teen was in a Department of Juvenile Justice center there was a little boy (yes, I mean little in stature and younger than all the rest) who looked an angel. I couldn't believe he was in residential and feared for his safety even though I didn't know him. Turns out he was so dangerous that the "big" guys stayed away from him.

    It is all "iffy". I would seek a residential program independent of Department of Juvenile Justice. It takes lots of work to find the right place and figure out how to afford it but it really is the best option. Good luck. DDD
  16. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I kept my son out of jail as long as I could. I got a broken rib for my troubles. Having said that I still would have kept him out as long as I could. I have no guilt that I had to recind his bail and send him to jail. This is because I know I made sure I had tried everything possible to get him help before resorting to the legal system. difficult child's have a hard time staying on track. Once in the judical system there is little leeway for slip ups. My son has been involved in the system for almost four years now because he can't seem to manintain long enough to get off probation. He now has another two years of it but that is good. Why? Because he is now in the mental health division of the ADULT parole system. They make medication and porgram participation a must to remain out side jail. I could never do that and difficult child is doing the best he has in a very long time. So there is good and bad side to using the judical system to get a difficult child on track.

    My advice is to trust your gut and if it tells you that he is just blustering let it go. BUT do not ever let actual violence go by without action. Take your difficult child to the hospital they have to keep him for observation do it every single time he goes out of bounds and threatens harm. Eventually he or they will get tired of it and get him into a proper program. Right now you have the control. I only put my kid in jail after he turned 18 and refused treatment for out of control harmful behavior. -RM