my difficult child is in jail. He missed two hearings, one for criminal mischief (he was thrown out of an apartment and broke a tv on the way out) and one for obstruction of passage (probably begging). He never paid the guy for his $1500 flat screen. I went to one of his court hearings with him (last time he was in jail), and he stayed with me for 3 weeks after. He swore to me, actually volunteered to me, that he was taking his lithium daily and also going to AA. the night he packed up and left (because I had a 10 PM curfew for him on (my) worknights)) he told me had never taken lititum, not been going to AA, and had been drinking or getting stoned most days. Anyway. He got picked up for begging, they uncovered the bench warrants, and at court today they said he had to serve 10 days in jail (last time he was in for 4 total), and then can get out on bail before his trial. There is the rub. I got a call from his public defender today who was very earnest and clearly going out of her way to help him...said she'd had a good talk with him, could see that he was mentailly ill and also presumable had drug issues, and discovered that his younger brothers and twin sister went to the same high school she had gone to. So she called to alert me that I could post his bail 24 hours/day, and I could post just 10%--she said I could somehow be sure that I wasn't liable for the other 90%, but google research doesn't confirm that...still, I assume she knows what she is talking about. She said "jail isn't a place for anyone" and she said if I didn't post bail he would stay in jail until his hearing. I think that is weeks or even a few months, but I don't know for sure. She also said he could get a case worker through her office, access to medications, services, etc. He has had those in the past (I arranged the caseworker when he turned 18) but never availed himself and ultimately lost the opportunity through a series of no shows. He can get his medications and psycho therapy through a program set up for him at his last psychiatric hosptalization from the summer, but he doesn't. So....although I believe his only hope is to start again with a caseworker, I also do not have any reason to htink he would actually follow through. And I am pretty damn sure he won't go to court if I post 10% bail. I can lose the 10%--I could chose to give him a chance and know I'll likely lose it. Is that my role as mom? Maybe. But the young man who lived in my house and lied to me every day, and busted up some one's tv, some one who had reached out a helping hand and never paid for it, some one who repeatedly blew off court dates, --doesn't he deserve to be in jail? But I don't know anything about jail. For the most part people who do know about it say it is no place for anyone...not a place to learn respect, or repentence or anything. So as his mom should I keep him out of there? My gut says he should stay and take his licks. Which makes me pretty sure that I am just a bitter pissed off woman with an angry heart. Or maybe my gut is right, that at a minimum he doesn't deserve to be tossed a lifeline, and at best maybe he really will get scared straight. Or maybe I'm totally wrong and if I get him out after 10 days he'll hook up with a caseworker and get back on track. Although nothing in my experience with him should make me expect that. Do any of you have any experience with jail? Should I do everything I can to keep him out? Or do I stay out of it and let the legal system roll? My ex (his dad) will split the 10% if I want, but sort of feels as I do. He is not in on the whole 5K. My SO was thoughtful and will support whatever I decide, but feels that David is less likely to actually die (or an overdose, drug-addled fall, drug addled freeze to death) than he is on the street, which is a plus. Also , as I do, that David has repeatedly lied to us and determinedly chosen a path that leads to jail...so now he is in jail, and we should stay out of it. I want to know what you all have experienced, or think, or how you react to the idea of either bailing him out or letting him stay. Please.