young adults who are incarcerated - looking for support

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ctmom05, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    I've been a visitor at CD for quite some time and I know this is a wonderful place for support, surrounding all kinds of issues that we have with our "kids" . . . . which is why I am posting this.

    My son has a very full psychiatric history and has had trouble with the law, both as a juvenile and a young adult. He's 21 and was taken into custody on a very serious felony charge late last week. His case has been splashed all over area news sources and of course, this has an impact on his family.

    Yes, I can separate myself from his flagrant disregard for the law - but it is harder to deal with the emotional whallop this whole deal packs. I know there are folks here who have walked the same path and I need to hear from you guys now.
  2. judi

    judi Active Member

    Ant's Mom (Janet) left the board a few years ago to join a support group for families of incarcerated children. You might email her. She's still a member here - just doesn't post much.

    I sincerely wish you the best and am so sorry this is happening to you.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Im so sorry this has happened to both you and your son. Are you posting his bond to get him out of jail until his trial or his he going to remain in jail? Support for you either way you go...I support you. Whatever he has done, he is still your son and this has to be devastating. The splashing all over the news has to just make this all the much harder.

    Know I am here to listen if you need to vent.
  4. tracyf551

    tracyf551 New Member

    I know where your coming from. My 19 year old is currently in jail on 9 felonies (new charges just came about). We still have no idea what amount of time he is looking at. It hasn't been on the news, but I am sure when he goes to court it will be in all the local papers. It has been extremely hard for my family. If you find the link to that site could you let me know. Thanks and we are all hanging in ther together.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sending an understanding hug your way. Our local newspapers literally wrote articles about juvenile charges which included name, address and pictures. They never ran articles explaining that charges were bogus&dropped...when they were. If you were found with a roach clip you were
    featured as if you had assaulted a group of children. It was humiliating and painful and tainted the local teens for life as "criminals". That policy was changed the year easy child/difficult child turned 18. They only picture juvies now if they are charged with serious criminal acts and are charged as adults.

    At 18 and three months before his brain injury, our kid was charged with a felony. He had a few Rx pills in the backseat of his unoccupied car. He was not selling. He was not in the car. He gave permission to search the car because he knew "he" didn't have anythng in it. He is a Felon for life and is having 5 years of probation because a friend used his car.

    I am sharing this because whether your son's offense was wretched or was simply a mistake...your life in your community is never going to be the same as it was prior to the offense. It is painful for the family. Most friends and acquaintances will just ignore the issue to avoid embarrassing you. "The system" will look at you as a conspirator, an incompetent or an object for pity. The whole scene is ugly.

    My primary comfort has been from repeating the Serenity Prayer on a daily basis. Like you, I'm sure, I have accepted the things I can not change, and I have found courage to change the things I could. The wisdom to know the difference is tricky. Trust your instincts and know that many other nice people are sending support and prayers your way. DDD
  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes I too understand your pain. My son has been incarcarated also. He was in a state facility for 10 months and has been in the county jail many times. It is hard to know what to do. He was so out of control that he needed to be somewhere or he was going to die. This kind of stops them in their tracks. There are probably programs there tohelp him. We have bailed our son out before but it did no good. We threw away money only to let him start his craziness all over again. I did go see him - I didnt give much money if any - I prayed a lot for his safety - I knew where he was - he is looking at going back to county jail for a possession of marijuana if he doesnt pay his probation officer. He will be ok - keep coming back for support. It is the hardest thing - when my son first went to jail I felt like the world was coming to an end - I wanted to go and get him - he was too young to be there - I even called the jail to see if he was ok! I know how your mother heart feels. We all do.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Chris, I'm so sorry. Our experiences happened when Rob was a minor so we were spared the public humiliation, although privately his offenses were well known and that was hard enough.

    I don't know if this is the message board that ant'smom posts on but it looks similar to ours so might be of use for you.

    Gentle hugs,
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well Chris ----:whiteflag: Since you wanted to hear from us NOW...I will just let you know that I'm here for you. :tongue: But there really is not a perfect emotion icon for "Hi - I'm the Mother of a felon that is probably going to be on COPS airing sometime in the future." Because despite all my humor and digging to find the positive side of things when it happened not once, not twice but the third time? I was caught somewhere between - Flagrant disregard for the law, attitude towards anything decent, being decent, trying to think about what it would be like to have my son in prison - going to visit him in jail for life - was that a good thing, was it a bad thing - how I felt ripped off, how I felt relieved - how I felt guilty for feeling relieved, how I felt sick for feeling ripped off. How I had to take any pictures of him down and put them up because the mere thought of him NOT being near me made me break down....then I'd get angry, then upset then I wanted to kill something, then I wanted to cry.....then I wanted someone to tell me it was a dream, then I got angry at Dude, then I got angry at God, then I bargained through prayer, and I hit seven stages of grief at 80 mph in under 30 seconds....and at that point knew I needed some help -

    See at 16 Dude was arrested for "burglary" and got felonys on top of felony, conspiracy charges - and basically it ended ANY hope of jobs, career, college...then he went to live in a group home and got arrested and falsely accused of attempted burglary which was going to be a 30 year sentence - he got out of that -and managed to keep his nose clean until last month and got caught driving without a license, but instead of pulling over - made it an episode of COPS - and ended up in the psychiatric ward threatening to commit suicide - we got a call at midnight - that he was automatically going to prison for 11 years. Fosters threw out his belongings - took his vehicles - the cops towed and impounded the other - and I thought I had a heart attack. doctor says no - but I swear - two years ago a stroke and now this.

    Since he was 18 - and it's a small town East of here? I heard he was shot & the car wrecked - that he was killed, that the car rolled, that he would be doing time in prison - that he was yelling DONT TELL MY MOMMA....all kinds of stuff - at one point we were told he was being chased by helicopters. We even literally watched the news for the story. So I know what it feels like. There's a publication here for arrests - its called MUGSHOTS....and I was sure he'd show up in that. It's not a nice thing to be in - so far, nothing.

    But ....I think too - that at some point when I see kids on the news that have done things - stupid things like Dude did and like whatever it is that your son has done - I HAVE to separate the kids behavior from the parent.
    There will ALWAYS be people who do the usual - BLAME THE PARENT and I'm just SOooo glad that they have PERFECT kids that never do wrong and that they never have these problems - and I think "Well good for you, but how sad that you can't feel empathy for someone else." I see drug dealers and murderers every day on tv - what it means to me is they had a bad lapse of judgement. Some are sorry - some aren't. But whatever your son has done - however the news and media want to villify him? Keep in mind that it's their job to report, make it seem SO to sell it - and if what they print bothers you ? Turn off the tv, don't read a paper and if people walk by and say things that are ugly - get an ipod and wear it. People can't help being people. For the most part - (present company on the board excluded) people are sheep - they follow and don't lead. They don't stand up for the underdog - that's too hard or out of the way - it takes courage to tell the masses I DO NOT AGREE - shut up - and stand alone. I'm sorry that right now - your son has to stand alone. This is a place of his own choosing by his behaviors and unfortunately as badly as it hurts you - he's got to do it. But- YOU didn't choose it - so for anyone that is coming at you and being ugly - Ignore them and be kind to them and say as little as possible - because from what I gather about people like that? They wouldn't understand big worded sentences anyway.

    I'm a PM away if you're having a panic attack or need a hug. I remember how everyone looked in the courtroom a few weeks ago and it was like - "What ????? (((turned around three time))) do I have chocolate on my white pants - because YOU ARE STARING at me - and it's none of your business what that cop said to MY SON." ACK....nosey britches...:faint:

  9. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    You ladies are so kind; to rally around someone you don't really know. I am deeply appreciative.

    Dammit Janet my son will remain in jail. Releasing him would be a safety issue, and too big of a responsibility for anyone to deal with.

    This is the second time he has been incarcerated. He has a clinical history(therapy, hospitalizations, medications etc) that dates back to first grade and police involvement since his early teen years.

    From 18-21 my son was in a Young Adult Services program(mental health) and was discharged due to lack of cooperation and buy-in.

    DDD you said, "The system" will look at you as a conspirator, an incompetent or an object for pity." I am not having that experience. On the night of the actual arrest the police arrived with a search warrant that was very specific and they found exactly what they were looking for. My husband and I were treated respectfully throughout the 3 hours that our home was occupied by a dozen or so officers.

    The neighboring community is talking about the arrest amongst themselves. They may be thinking things about us, and I see various types of messages going up on newspaper messages boards related to the articles about the crime, but noone has made me feel small.....yet. In fact, my across the street neighbor stopped by to say that this doesn't change anything between us as neighbors. She may stand alone in her feelings, I don't know, but if my son's act changes anything for folks with regards to my husband or I, it wasn't a worthwhile relationship to begin with.

    This is very difficult to take in, but I believe my son is where he needs to be.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You don't feel small because you're not small, Chris. You're a generous and strong woman, and you have many people who know the reality of that.
  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Chris, I'm so glad you are experiencing some kindness. After the neighbors heard about Rob's arrest, almost every one of them came over at one point the following week. Only one had a difficult child but everyone who came over had a story about their child or nephew or son of a friend in order to help us not feel so alone with what we were feeling and dealing with.

    You are very right about this.


  12. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Hi Chris -

    I am SO very sorry to hear this about your son. I can't even imagine the pain you must be suffering. I never had to go through one of my kids being in jail - so I can't speak to your pain specifically.

    I just want you to know that I am praying for you and for your peace of mind. I will pray for your son too.

    Sadly, so many inmates are incarcerated because of mental health issues. Not because they are criminals. They are sick people who commit criminal acts. Big difference.

    Ya know - part of my job is working in a county jail with inmates. Jail is not a nice place to be - that's for certain. But, the inmates are fed, and clothed, they get their medications, they have some structure (3 hots and a cot we call it). When my brother in law was so out of control (crack cocaine) my sweet in-laws actually found some level of peace when he was incarcerated - because he couldn't hurt himself or someone else. The worst part for them is when he is on the streets doing God only knows what. If I were you, I would talk to the powers that be and stress his need for his psychotropic medications. I would request that the jail psychiatrist see him ASAP. Sometimes the jail administrators will cooperate.

    Please let us know if there is anything I can do for you specifically. I'm so sorry Chris.

    Sending you a great big (((hugs))).
  13. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member


    Being that my son is 21, requests from the outside don't go very far in prison. However, he is on "medical watch."

    Little did I know that when I jumped into your medical scare thread, that I would be knocking on your door so soon; thanks for being there.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Chris...since your son needs to be where he is, it is good that he is there. I dont know how big a town or city/county you live in but the jail may not actually be that bad a place. The last jail Cory was in was rather nice according to I dont think the cops here think any less of me either...or they do a really good job of faking it. But here, we also pretty much know most everyone so they know Cory has been in treatment for years and I was always an active parent so that probably does make a difference.
  15. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Chris - my husband does Court Watch in our community. He follows those that have committed crimes in our neighborhood, or those that live in our neighborhood and commit crimes, through the system. While there are those he recommends sentences or conditions of community control, there are others that he fights tooth and nail for the little bit of medical or psychiatric help that is currently available in our area with all the budget cuts.

    See if there is some type of advocate program available in your area. While they can't recommend things like if your son should take a plea deal, they can help you navigate the system.

    And there is only ONE family that I put "blame" on for the way a child turned out. I said when he was 8 years old, he would either shoot someone or be shot, and while he did shoot someone 2 years ago (he's now 27), he didn't go to trial due to the witness not showing up. HIS family certainly didn't help matters.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Was just thinking about you last night - and hope that you know you are being thought of and kept in good hugs and thoughts today and always -

  17. tracyf551

    tracyf551 New Member

    How are you? I know since my difficult child has been in jail NO ONE including family has asked me how I am doing? I t can be difficult because you feel like you are alone. It is a sad time in your life. I once said it is like mourning. Just to know I have all of you to talk to and vent to has helped me. Thank you
  18. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I PM'd you with resource info.

    I would also like to say that it is very true that initially there can be little support when you have a child who has pushed and pushed to the limit and beyond. I have found that if you educate yourself on this new journey of yours, you can find some comfort in knowing others have gone before you and others will follow. You are not alone. The prisons and jails are overcrowded, and that means lots of extended families out there seeking solace. in searching for that peace of mind, I knew I had to learn more...where he was going, what I had done thus far, what remainded to be done, if anything. How and when to let go...had anyone ever been where I was and would they be able to help me thru?

    It is funny because although I had some people cut me off I also had people in my world who reached out. People still talk to me about their loved ones going thru this, they ask about my son. They pray for him and amaze me by telling me that year after year...that he is in their hearts. At first it was like a huge drop off the face of the standing there alone.

    In time I learned there was a huge crowd of folks in my situation or worse. I was somewhere out there like a kindergarten kid..trying to learn the ropes. In time I felt that I have moved onto high school in this subject but still there are parents out there in the "college education" or "masters and doctorates in prison education" section with kids in for life, or kids with many many serious health issues in prison, people with multiple family members in prison and with no resources.

    My journey with my son being in prison ended in January but I stay there to help others, or encourage or learn more. I have joined an inperson group who have some members go into prisons or visit inmates, pray for them, educate or help in whatever way they can...even if it is only to write a card to someone-each does what their heart moves them to do. It is a joy to see my son getting paperwork ready for kindergarten curriculum night for his 5 yr old son. I am so grateful for the blessing of his job he loves, and how he cares for his own place. But I will never forget the journey, or those on it as newbies.

    Chris, it actually sounds like you are in a good place of detachment from his problems but still there loving him. I know you will continue to be there for him. You are right in that at his age you cannot have much input at all with the jails/prisons for his care. All inmates needs are assessed and dealt with using what the jail or prison can afford. psychiatric help is limited due to the lack of docs available and the long waiting list to see the docs. Their medications are limited to what they are supplied with.

    You will be limited as to your part in this journey of his. The most important parts remain no matter what, you can love him and pray for him. I highly recommend learning more about his facilities as he moves thru them for your own peace of mind. I also recommend being very good to yourself as well thru this time.

    Although I rarely check this forum, I do get emails when someone PM's me so feel free to contact me any time. (((HUGS)))
  19. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    My son has called several times from the correctional facility. Because he has several thousand dollars on the otuside - he will be covering the costs himself.

    His expectation is that he should have generous access to his money while he is incarcerated. Funds can be deposited into an inmate account. Anything beyond the basic and very sparse creature comforts that the prison provides must be bought by the inmate at the commissary, to ensure that they are "clean."

    The ball is going to go back to his court. He is going to have to make do with a public defender, and small amounts of his own money to purchase basics, like toiletries and ramen noodles, and a special inmate phone card.

    This is a tough situation and I am grateful to have everyone's generous support.
  20. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Chris, Sorry I am late posting here but I do not get to the site very often anymore. My difficult child is a convicted felon he has been trying to work off an 18 month sentance for four years. They finally decided t just let him max out on his sentance rather than try to place him in another program (he failed three). I have found that at first I was treated badly by people who didn't know me but believed the wild stories my son had spread about his home life so people would take pity on him and take him in when he didn't want to live by our rules. Now four years later most people treat me in a neighborly manner and my real friends are still actively invitingme to events and parties. Times like these truly can show what people are made of. The good ones will remain friends the others never were. -RM