I am having a hard time with this (daughter in jail)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bran155, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I don't know how to live with this. It is tearing me up inside. My stomach constantly aches and I walk around with such an uneasy feeling all day. Today I stayed in bed for most of the day and then when I wasn't in bed I was sitting in the dark. I have been crying on and off all day. I feel horrible all of the time. I am worried and very sad. I know I did the right thing, I just didn't think it would be this hard to live with.

    She got into a fight with a 37 year old woman and knocked her out. For that she got 30 days in the box!!! Because she isn't on her medications and physically cannot control her impulses, she has been running off at the mouth. So one of the COs has taken $25.00 of the $30.00 I brought her for food. She is now left with only $5.00!!! She is just going to keep getting into fights and getting into more trouble because she is completely manic right now.

    I have left messages for the DA to call me to discuss the plan to have her put into crisis care. It is all set up for her and the bed is waiting. I just need to somehow convey this to the DA. Is it unheard of for a DA to actually call a parent of an inmate? If she isn't let out on Thursday when we go back to court, I want to drop the charges so she can go into crisis care and be evaluated and put back on her medications. What do you think? Is that a bad idea? I mean she will be going right from jail into the crisis unit, then from there she will be placed into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I think that scenario will be better for her than leaving her in jail where she is only going to keep regressing. I don't know what to do. I don't even know if we are able to drop the charges. She stole our debit card, so does that mean we do have the option of dropping the charges? I am new to all this legal stuff. I am used to dealing with the Family Courts, it is totally different from Criminal Court thats for sure!!! Family Court is all about helping these kids, the Criminal Courts couldn't care less about them!!! I am so second guessing my decision to press charges. Did I do the right thing for my daughter? I mean she is a total mess. I would feel a lot better if she went into jail while on her medications. She would be so much more in control of herself. I don't know. I feel like I am just as much of a mess right now. I really am having a hard time dealing with this. I am also so sick of dealing with all of this craziness. When the heck does this get any better? It's like we go from bad to worse, to worse, to worse and to worse!!! It just doesn't seem to get any easier.

    Help!!!! What should I do?

  2. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I just want to say that I am sorry that this is so very hard for you. Now, it does sound as though she is totally out of control there.

    I am wondering do you have any documents, diagnosis's evaluation's documents that can be passed onto the da at this point?

    I for one do agree with you at this point in the crisis care. I think that now is the time to go speak to the da with doctor's in hand and say ok it sounds as if she is completely manic right now, that is due to her diagnosis.... I believe the best thing for her right now is placing her in crisis care.

    This is a hard call. On on side of it you wanted to prove a point with her, teach her right from wrong, also get her off the streets and out of your house at this point, because it wasn't helping. I agree with what you did so very much so, and i know it was hard.

    Yet, flip side is now her behaviros are going hand and hand with her BiPolar (BP) diagnosis. If she isn't in her "right" mind she isn't going to learn anything from this. Nor could you have predicted her behavior while in jail.

    So, yes I think the crisis thing is the right move at this point. Sorry I rambled so but i was thinking as I was writing to you.

    Is your gut telling you this as well? What does husband say about it at this point?
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Also, did you take our advice and get some support for you, or head to dr. for a check up. This is very very stressful stuff your dealing with right now. It is expected that you would feel a mess also. Yet you need to stay well for you, and also so you can finish this and see this through with her.

    (((( hugs)))))
  4. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    You need to drop the charges and get some agreement with your child. What can they do if you wont testify against her? But once she return home things have to change. Are you able to shut off some of your house, so there is sections you can lock? You have to protect your property against her.

    Jail is not doing anything good for anybody and if she is not ready for help, then none can force her.
  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am going to visit her today and I am a nervous wreck!!! I don't even want to go. My stomach is a ball of nerves. I am so afraid of seeing her totally out of control in an orange jumpsuit with a number on the back. My mom and I attempted to visit her on Sat. we couldn't get in because we weren't properly dressed. I had a hooded sweater on and my mom had a button up sweater on, neither of which you are allowed to wear on a visit. I was actually relieved as I was terrified. So - here we go again.

    Wish me luck. :)
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Didn't the judge set a high bail so her friends couldn't bail her out? Maybe instead of dropping the charges, you could ask for her to be released on a low bail and take her to the crisis/Residential Treatment Center (RTC). That way you still have the charges there if you need them. You could always work at getting them dropped at a later date when you are calmer and have had more time to think.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Personally, I think you are doing the right thing and have an excellent plan. I think it's bad because she isn't on medications right now. If there's a good reason why she isn't (or wasn't when this happened) it might not be a bad idea to get a letter from the psychiatrist stating that. By "DA", do you mean defense attny? Unfortunately, they don't always call back when we are trying to reach them. Are you telling them the jest of your plan in the message you are leaving? That might help, but it sounds like they are just going to deal with it all at the next hearing.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    JJJ might be onto something. Also, maybe a suspended sentence that gets dropped if she stays in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) until they feel she doesn't need it or for some set period of time.
  9. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    JJJ, that was the plan. I just can't seem to get in contact with the DA. I have left messages for him to call me back as well as visited his office several times on Friday to see him all to no avail. I am a nervous wreck!!! I need to let him know, somehow, that we have found a place for her to go. I need to speak to him before court on Thursday. If I cannot connect with him before then, what do I do? Then should I drop the charges? Do I even have that option? I am lost. I am a total mess. I can't handle this!!!!!
  10. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    klmno, by DA, I mean the District Attorney. He is the one that we originally made these plans with. He is the one who didn't want to put her in jail in the first place. Now it seems as though he has had a change of heart and doesn't want to let her out. He made a statement in court on Friday, saying if the victim (my husband) wants to see me, come to my office. Okay we have tried that several times. The secretary is a b***h and no help whatsoever. Every time we go to his office he is not there. I am at a loss. I just don't know what to do. In the meantime, I have to go visit her and am terrified to do so. I just didn't think I would have such a hard time dealing with this. I think this would be easier had she been on her medications. She hasn't taken them in about 2 months. She just refuses. She doesn't want to take medications anymore. Which makes for disaster in any situation, but 10 fold in jail!!!!

    I HATE MY LIFE!!!!!
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Can you call and leave a message for her defense attny? It sounds like this is your best bet at this point.
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Technically, you and your husband are the victims and should be able to contact the DA. However, if you call as the parent, you're not going to be able to get through the secretary. DAs are incredibly hard to get ahold of in general. They're either in court, in meetings or on the phone. They really are understaffed and underpaid. It may be that you won't be able to talk to him until minutes before the hearing. That is pretty common.

    You might try calling the office and simply state you are the victim in case number 123, Mr. Y is the DA handling this case and you plan to drop the charges. That might get you through to him if he's around.

    On your side is that you have a judge who actually listened to you as the parent. The odds are good that he will listen when you go in there with a plan on Thursday even if you haven't reached the DA by that time. I know that when I was working at a GAL (for both family and criminal courts), I would hope for certain judges because they actually did listen to everyone, not just the DA. You have one of those of judges.

    I'm not sure how a CO can take her personal funds. That just doesn't seem right to me and I'd be doing some checking on that one. Solitaire might be a good place for her. She'll be less able to fight and mouth off. She'll still be fed and housed. She'll be bored to death.

    I wish there was a way to relieve your pain but there isn't. I know your daughter is presently unmedicated and out of control but this may be a lesson that she needs to learn -- either be willing to take the necessary medications or learn how to control yourself or suffer some serious consequences. Nothing you have tried has been able to teach her this lesson. I hope when this is over, it will. As hard and painful as this is, do remember that you had some very good reasons to have her stay in jail. While it is never where we would want our children, sometimes it is still safer than being on the streets and running wild.

    I hope you can make it through the visit today without too much more pain. Just keep reminding yourself that you are doing the right thing for her. You have a good plan in place for her when she is released and, for now, she can't run.

    Many hugs. Be strong.
  13. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Bran - I think at this point there are not a lot of options. You can hire an attorney to advocate for her as the Public Defenders are totally useless. I think you will have to wait till she appears in court. Between now and then I would urge you to do a Parent Report (you can find how to do that in the Archives her on the board) Give a copy to the judge, DA, and anyone else in the system that comes across her name.
    Request that the judge have a complete mental evaluation. Does she have a PO?? I would also give them a copy. Talk to the officer of the day,or officer in charge at the jail and tell them she needs medications. You are not allowed to bring them to her, she will have to see their psychiatric doctor on staff, but make sure he has a copy of the Parent Report as well.

    Believe me, have so been there done that with my difficult child at the same age. They took him out of the general population and housed him in the medical section. I had to go back to court I don't know how many times to get a court order for his medications and no one followed the judges order, and on the rare times they did, his medications disappeared when they moved him from jail to jail (they do that here with Juvenilles because of an overcrowding law)

    And as a suggestion, get yourself to the doctor and get some medications to deal with this. The first year of difficult children involvement in the legal system, my easy child's Christmas was totally ruined for him as I had such a bout of depression over difficult child I couldn't even celebrate Xmas. I beat myself up for putting him in jail the first time but in hindsight it saved his life he was that out of control.

    You are rapidly running out of time age wise to help her - once she reaches 18 you have no more imput. Try and look at her jail time as respite for you to recoup and recharge and figure out what the best way to approach all this is. Unless that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) you have in mind is a lockdown one, chances are she is going to leave, and you will be back to square one.

  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending understanding support your way. Here are the options that I see
    based on far too much experience with the criminal courts.

    1. Go SIT in the DA's office. Be polite. Take a book. Do NOT leave. Tell the secretary "I am XX. Mr. YY the DA asked that my husband or I come to his office to discuss case ####." She probably will reply "Mr YY is too busy today to meet with you but I'll give him your number. You then very politely respond "I am sure Mr YY is very busy but I have set aside this day for this very important meeting." Then sit. Then read. Do NOT look

    2. IF that does not work then write a letter to Mr. YY the DA and copy the specific Judge who is handling the case. In that letter (which you must hand deliver and get a signature showing you delivered it) simply state the facts.

    Dear Mr. YY:
    As per your request we have attempted to get together with you at your office regarding our mentally ill daughter Suzie Q (case number ***). As you may recall we were very appreciative of your assistance when you suggested the higher bond figure to make sure her peers could not get her out of your facility.

    It was our joint goal to assure that she be safely maintained until a bed became available at TRT. That bed is available today. Please advise how we can make sure that she can go directly from your jail to TRT before the much needed bed might be reserved for someone else.

    I can provide, if needed, documentation from x, y, and z that Suzie Q has a number of serious problems that require multiple medications to assure some self control. We understand that in the jail, without those medications, she is displaying the very behaviors that demonstrate her need for inpatient care. Like most mental health patients she is not able to exercise appropriate self-control without pharmaceutical support.

    My husband, Joe Blow, can be reached at the following numbers at any time. (insert numbers) I will also be available at any time to receive a call from you. (your numbers). It is our hope that Suzie can be placed at TRT before court on Thursday as time is of the essence.

    Thank you for your caring and professional help. In times of family crisis it is reassuring to have compassionate support when in unfamiliar territory.

    Yours truly,

    3. GET an Rx for yourself so you have the strength and energy to advocate for your daughter.

    Hugs. DDD
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Bran, I just wanted to send support.
    Can you get yourself some Xanax or something? Please see a dr for yourself. I know this is hard but I don't want it to destroy you. Your difficult child will get to the right place ... it just isn't happening as you planned it.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I agree that it's time to hire a private attorney to advocate for her. Try to find someone who specializes in juvenile law. My difficult child's attorney only does juvenile cases so he is in juvenile court all day every day. He knows all the judges, DA's and magistrates. They respect him and he knows what options are avaliable and how to get them.

    I agree that at this point jail is not helping. She will continue getting into trouble because of her issues. Does your court have a mental health juvenile division?

  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    DDD said all of this far better than I ever could have.
    I too urge you to do all of this. Especially item #3. You need to look after yourself. You've got battles to fight, and a young son at home who also needs you. Putting yourself first is not selfish. It's ensuring that there is someone who loves and will fight for your children, who's strong enough to do it.

  18. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HUGS! I know how difficult it is to think through all of this. Get an advocate or someone to help you. Someone that knows the system.

    It is too hard to be so emotional and then switch to rational, logical solutions. Find help for the decision making.
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Bran, I'm reading and typing without my reading glasses, so I only got about halfway through your post. I know you are feeling awful, and you have to be strong to get through this. I can understand why you would feel depressed and sad about this.

    It's possible that now that she has offended in jail, (the fight) dropping charges against her won't mean anything. But you aren't the only ones pressing charges, unless I am mistaken. The bank is also pressing charges for fraud. So, it's not only you that made that decision, or you that can make it go away. I think that the DA is not going to call you back. Can you get the CW to call him and tell him what is set up? That may be your best bet.

    (Added after I got my glasses on and read the others) jjj's idea seems reasonable. Ask for a lowered bail. I would not drop the charges. The DA is probably frustrated because in his mind he went out on a limb that you were a parent who wanted him to do one thing, now you are calling frequently telling him that you have changed your mind. They hate that. I do believe that your bank is pressing charges, as it is them that she stole from using your card.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  20. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Bran, while I understand your concern, I would make sure that I had all my ducks in a row before I attempted to get her out. If not, she is back with you, and you know how well that went before. Then, you just had a surly, partially medicated difficult child---now she is angry, violent, and unmedicated. Without the proper plan in place, you may be biting off more than you can chew. While I hated knowing my son was in jail, I also didn't want him let out until I knew for sure what I was going to do. Are you plans solid. Will this place take her right away? Witz is right, with an offense while in house, they may not let her go until she has served her time for that. Do not feel quilty. You tried to help her for a long time. She refused to cooperate. Even now, she does not want to take the medications she needs. Take a deep breath, take some time to journal your thoughts and feelings---and let go of the guilt.