Question for all parents

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    with kids who have gotten into legal trouble or are on the verge of it:

    Would you be interested in picking the brain of someone in the system if you had a chance to, to ask questions and try to build a bridge of sorts between the legal system's view of things and the parents efforts?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I have basically done that sort of thing over the years. I have known many people that worked in juvenile justice, mental health and social services. I have advocated for more kids than just my own. Even now I am attempting to go into peer mentoring.

    I think it is a very good idea to reach out and try to understand both sides of the coin.
  3. TheOnlyMe

    TheOnlyMe Relentless Warrior Mom

    THIS IS THE reason I advocate is due to the fact that at 18, I was one of

    the first female psychiatric aides at a male prison in Texas. Then almost ten

    years, later, I foolishly went back thinking I could work in the system again,

    I worked on Death Row. So this is why I advocate for families and youth

    with "hidden abilities" (disabled); I don't want them ending up in this

    system! The state of Texas had 30 prisons in 1985 when I was 18, and

    now it has approximately 179; (including state jails). Yet our MHMRA only

    treats Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Depression in adults, and you know not to

    get me started about what I call "EDUCATION Malpractice" aka "SOCIAL

    PASSING", both of these agencies DO NOT GET $40,000 PER YR PER


  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Mmmmm, no

    What would be the point - most of them don't care, refuse to recognize any mental health issues, and lie thru their teeth to get what they feel should be done, and the ones that do care, can't do anything about anything

    It would be a bridge to nowhere till the actual laws are changed - I can think of very few of the legal people I have come across in the system that I would even think of wanting to pick their brains.

  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I need to clarify- I mean hypothetically, if I could get someone from the juvenile legal system to get on this board, anonymously, one day to converse about our kids and how we parents could approach things in order to prevent them getting in deeper legal involvement but still pursue help for them, or to just discuss what we think we need for our families, would you be interested in that conversation?
  7. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I think that as parents, we all have to do what we can to educate the masses. Most people, honestly, don't understand mental illness and how is affects the individual. And unless you have raised a difficult child, it is very easy to brush it off to bad parenting. What they do see is high profile crime cases where the person uses mental illness as an excuse for their actions.

    I think for so long, the fact that someone had an illness was hidden from view. They didn't attend school. They didn't enter the workforce. My great grandfather was locked up and died in an institution because of epilepsy---at least that is what my grandmother was told was the reason.

    I talk to everyone I know: lawyers, judges, educators, law enforcement officials, doctors. I am open and honest about the issues difficult child has faced because of his mental illness, but I also make sure everyone understands that I don't excuse the stealing and lying and drug use.

    I think a national effort must be made. Some of the issues came to light last year when that state made the mistake about the law about giving up a child because you couldn't parent them---and they had parents crossing state lines for help----so they altered the law....

    I am fortunate to be educated, to live in a small community where I am well known, to have some financial resources at my disposal and a strong support system...I don't know how in the world others survive the trials of raising a difficult child without those supports around them.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    The public needs educated. This includes those within the legal system. Just because someone has a law degree or is wearing a badge doesn't mean they know squat about the reality of mental illness.

    We as parents of kids with mental disorders need to step up to the plate whenever the opportunity presents itself. If we want better treatment for our kids, then who better to tell it like it is?

    Ok. So most of the time people don't listen because it's easier to believe the stereotypes or what you want to believe. But in every group of people you talk to if just one "gets it", then it's worth it.

    But if we won't speak up for our kids, who will?

    klmno, I was very lucky my difficult children never got tangled with the law. Most especially with Nichole. So I doubt I can be alot of help. Except maybe putting input as far as my difficult child nephews are concerned.

    I'd speak to them if they want.
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'd love to help but as a non-US citizen, I would need to stay out of it.

  11. compassion

    compassion Member

  12. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Yes (ha), but I don't know how much it would help, until the laws change (like a few others posters were saying). When we were going through this with Sis's older half-brother, everyone's hands were tied. Nothing could be done until "things got totally out of hand". I'd love to see the legal system be more pro-active, instead of reactive, but without funding and a big drive from the public to make it happen - meh. Picking brains would be nice, but as someone who is already bridging that gap, I honestly don't know if it would help. I can walk in both worlds, and nothing I've seen was too useful. :(
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Maybe if we could get someone like that on the board it would give those of us who are "lost" more of a way to learn how to advocate for our children within the system instead of trying to circumvent it and getting more and more frustrated...
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think having someone on this board would help much at all. It would be like preaching to the choir. What we do need is National spokespeople. Someone in Congress who can speak on the subject and attempt to get the word out there. We need someone in office with a mentally ill family member. I cannot believe there isnt one. Actually there has been some. Look at the Kennedy's. And if numbers are correct there have got to be autistic kids belonging to people in Congress. I mean if they say 1 in 160 kids has autism...well. And what is the rate for bipolar?

    But we wont hear it. Not unless they get into massive trouble and the media catches wind.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Actually Janet you're right... We do know there is something going on... But the world at large doesn't. I mean, I knew difficult child 2 was dyslexic. But I had no idea about other things until I found this board... And now I find myself giving advice... So you have a very good point!
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is what I was thinking about- I didn't mean a permanent member of the board. Also, I wondered if there might be some pointers about what we could do to prevent the kid getting involved in the legal system- well, that part wouldn't apply to me and my difficult child anymore.
  17. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I think it could be a good thing but I honestly don't know how helpful it would be.

    From my own personal experiences with my difficult child and the legal system, people just don't get it. I had a lot of good people trying to help us but they had no clue. The resource officer at the school assured me they would get him straightened out. His PO assured me they would straighten him out. Even the social type workers at various programs and agencies said it. They all wound up shaking their heads. But then again, difficult child had a counselor, who specialized in children, in absolute disbelief because she had never dealt with anyone of my difficult child's particular level of defiance and stubborness.

    In my experience though, the juvenile system (the adult too for that matter) needs a good education on mental illness. Faced with a "defendant" with a mental illness, there just isn't the means or opportunities to help. An Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was mentioned at one point with us but there just wasn't a reptutable facility in our area that we could use. Our court ordered parenting class teacher had no idea. She assumed and told me outright that I must be doing things wrong because all of the techniques I said I used, didn't work. Once she was taken aside and appraised of our situation, she just ignored me. She had no grasp of that particular reality.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Having one expert from one locale with one set of experiences wouldn't be helpful in my humble opinion. They would have no power to change anything. If that had that power, they wouldn't be sharing ideas with strangers on a message board. You wouldn't be able to implement suggestions from them because a whole different set of values might be in your system. In your particular case, I think that the people who already know your personal feelings would (or could) perceive that you were actively criticizing their choices and as a result it could reduce your effectiveness as an advocate. Or to put it in a less ladylike could bite you in the .....

    :redface: Yeah, I know. I know. DDD
  19. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Yes! I advocate whenever I can. Especially in regards to Mental Illness with kids, I have met SO many people who have NO idea Mental Illness even exists in kids, nor believes it does. Even Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in kids is hard for most people to believe.
    These things in a young child? No way. Most feel it is an excuse for our kids behaviours, especially if they are in trouble with the law.

    Don't get me wrong, I know kids in most situations should be held accountable, but they need help and treatment first and foremost.

    I try to get to know whoever I can, I figure one day it may help me. Or at least teach them something.
  20. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes again.

    Although I have to caution you, we once had a probation officer who posted and he got a lot of negative comments. Some members attacked him and didn't use him as a resource to help them understand the sytem. Some felt defensive. I loved reading his input but he left rather quickly.

    I would hope that those who wanted to ask questions or understand better would post, and those that just wanted to vent would refrain.