I rec'd the Department of Juvenile Justice "packet"

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It explains that the first four weeks are spent putting the "wards" thru an orientation that they have to graduate from. I guess that is why we have to wait 30 days for a visit. This orientation is spent teaching them the rules and "that they should have hope and believe that they can overcome this and be productive members of society" or something to that effect. I hope they can teach him that, but I can't see me ever believing it.

    Personally, I think the whole situation is hopeless. I can't see that this will turn him into a easy child and I definitely don't believe he'll ever get out of this system. I think he is doomed and believe that he'll spend the rest of his life in and out of prison. And I don't know what to do about feeling this way. If I hear someone say how wonderful the Department of Juvenile Justice system is and that I should have faith in it, it makes me cringe and want to throw up. The more I hear it, the more pessimistic I am. The few that I've heard of even having a half-way "normal" life didn't get there until around 30 yo and after fighting to get out of the system thru their mid-20's. My son was telling his therapist in Oct that it was hopeless and that he'd never get out of this sytem. I kept trying to encourage him and I did believe then that he could turn things around. But I don't believe it anymore. He didn't even have any guidelines for ever getting off probation before this and was on a suspended sentence until he's 21yo. Now that will be even worse.

    At least I have his case worker's name now. The man I tried to call this morning never returned my call to answer my question about medications and psychiatric hospital and school records. I also rec'd a letter from another dept there asking about his shot record. I knew they wouldn't recieve half of what they needed- yet they don't just send a list to the parent or contact the parent to see what info they can provide. They get it all from the PO and I know this PO didn't gather everything.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child's cw just called. She answered some questions and told me he would get mental health treatment- more than the typical "rehabilitative" treatment plan, although he will have to do that, too. She said his head is almost shaved, but not completely and that it will be that way the whole time he's in. That's ok. She told me which facility he'd probably be going to and that the kids earn points while in this processing place and can spend their points on Sat mornings if they have behaved well. They get to choose what to spend their points on and one option is a phone call home. All that sounded pretty good.

    Then came the bad news.

    They won't know until the end of the month what his range of time in is, but everyone had thought that this most recent charge was the primary factor, with his charges from 2 years ago that he was on a suspended sentence for listed as previous charges. That is not the case, according to her, but she says she isn't the one who determines his length of stay. She said he was committed for this charge PLUS those charges from 2 years ago (which include 2 felonies) so all those would go into the computer as the recent charges. (That totals 3 misdemeanors and 2 felonis and a chins- which she said meant nothing to them) His misdemeanor charges from 3 years ago will go in as his prior offenses. She said there is no way he will get by with only 3-6 mos and it might be up to 3 years.

    I told her she might want to start letting him know this now and asked if they tdo'd suicidal kids.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I know this is hard. Hugs.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The original court order had this latest charge listed with the charges from 2 years ago listed separately- and I think it said previous charges next to them. However, it was in error because it listed this conviction for malicious wounding, which had been lowered to meisdemeanor assualt so I pointed it out to the defense attny, who took it back to the judge to be corrected. I went yesterday to pick up a copy of the corrected court order and it is written differently- it is written as difficult child being committed for charge A, B, C, D, and E. I just called and left a message for the defense attny asking that he look into this because it could mean difficult child getting 3 years in there. Maybe it was the intention of the judge, but I think it's worth a phone call.
  5. I'm so sorry. This has got to be really hurting your mom heart. Hugs and prayers to you.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It isnt hopeless. I know it feels like it but it really isnt. You just learned that difficult child is going to get mental health treatment on top of the regular mental health care that is provided to everyone. That is good news. I also think the point system that they use in these type places work well for difficult child's. For some reason, difficult child's thrive on structure even moreso than easy child kids. They need external structure because they cant provide their own internal structure. So be it.

    Get the book by Judge Mathis. He turned his life around after being in the system. If he can do it anyone can.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so terribly sorry. That horrible bleak feeling when it hits you that they are in "the system" and will probably be there for their entire lives is about the worst feeling you can every feel, in my opinion.

    To be honest I wondered how they were listing the prior charges when you posted that they told him 3-6 months. It didn't sem like a rational expectation to set both difficult child and you up with. I think the PO or GAL told him 3-6 months so they could go back and tell him that YOU messed up something, didn't do some paperwork or missed a court date or giving them records and so it would be the max time allowed. I hate that I even thought of that. But since both PO and GAL seem to get some perverted thrill from telling difficult child and others horrible lies about you this seemed logical.

    I am so sorry. I pray for both of you every day, and send support and strength to help you keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Hopefully they will get their claws out before he is 21, or at the latest when he turns 21.

    This whole think hoovers. Bigtime.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Ladies! I didn't know that about Judge Mathis. My concern is that if difficult child stays in there long term, he will never learn how to function any better ITRW. Really, how can he go from juvy prison straight into adulthood and be able to make it? He'd be right back in incarceration in no time. I honestly believe this is how so many end up not knowing any other way.

    It was the staff at detention that told difficult child he'd probably get 3-6 mos. His defense attny told him 18 mos max- and he used the formula. But, it is different if this assault is listed as the current charge and the others as prior charges, than if they are all listed as current charges. That is why I called the attny to ask about it. The first order written up (by the clerk) didn't list it that way.

    It's not the first thing the clerk in court has written out oddly or with a mistake. Shoot, he might have better off if I'd never noticed the malicious wounding charge written with the others listed as previous charges.

    Anyway, I can see maybe giving him 6-12 mos. But 3 years, well, words can't even describe it- not for a kid this age and not for what he did. People are saying, "well, he hurt you". No, he threatened me and scared the carp out of me and made me absolutely livid. But he didn't cut me. I do want him to have consequences, don't get me wrong, but 3 years would take any shred of hope I have left and crush it. The objective was to teach him a lesson and put a stop to it- not ruin his life. He's never done that much to anyone else, but less hurt someone else. Do you know that there are sexual abusers who get less time than that?

    Oh the PO- I won't get on much of a soapbox tonight, but isn't it funny how she's the one that made sure there was not local detention option for the judge and she's the one who made sure that difficult child was committed to state juvy, yet she was also telling difficult child it was my fault. If my son dies before me, well....I won't even go there.

    I am glad to learn they have the point system at this place, too- I hope they have it wherever he ends up going (he's at this place 30-45 days). Maybe it could help turn him around if it's a reasonable time that he's in. But keeping him until he's 17yo - - I'm just telling myself that we've heard 18 mos, 3-6 mos, and now up to 36 mos, but we don't really know yet and have to wait 4 weeks to find out. The sad part is that it will be a freaking computer that calculates it.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think that you are a bit like me. It is important for me "to know" what I have to face in order for me to face it with-o fear and trepidation. Earlier I rather hinted that the short term indicated for his incarceration did not make sense to me since he was being processed. You have my sympathy because I do know how discombobulating it is to deal with vague deadlines and adjusting fears for your child. I am sincere.

    on the other hand, although I think you are right to contact the PD, you have got to "let go..let God" or whatever your equavilent may be. IF your child is going to be there for three years then you have to look at the positive side. He will be getting educated. He will be safe. He will be fed. It sounds like he may get mental health assistance. Those are all positive things for him to build toward a healthier future. Furthermore, you no longer will have to worry that "they" will be forcing you to make personal change pronto........with the threat of placement with your bro causing you nightmares.

    Let him float with the system. It is important that he understands that "the system" is in control because he made poor choices...NOT because you did anything wrong. The only thing he needs to understand is that you are his Mom, you are not perfect, you have tried your very best and now..he needs to do his very best to secure a positive future.

    If you have one year or two years or three years to rebuilt your life and get healthy again then you'll have to use it to improve. Try not to do the rollercoaster ride with each piece of correspondence or each phone call or each recollection. Think positively and hope for a healthy future. DDD
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing to add but my support and hugs. You and your difficult child remain in my daily prayers.
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    I guess I just want to say that while I know it feels hopelss, it is not. Where there is life, love and faith there are miracles. KLMNO I have seen them with my own eyes. You just can't possibly know what amazing and wonderful thing life has in store for us if we can just keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next right thing. This is the darkness you are in. But I believe that good things lie beyond this with the dawn of a new day. I know that being where he is at will be extremely difficult but with your support and encouragement and lots of prayers and positive thinking he CAN turn this around. You have our support and prayers. Please keep taking care of yourself!
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you, all! Of course, I'm going to have nightmares now that his best hope is becoming a judge and I'll have to see him in a courtroom if I see him at all for the rest of my life.

    Gee, thanks, Janet. LOL!

    DDD, I just can't get where you are that fast. Sorry, but I grew up learning that the people that are supposed to protect you are the ones that hurt you and the ones you are supposed to be able to go to are the ones that manipulate you and make you out to be someone you aren't to get others to do what they want. I simply cannot turn things into blind faith that quickly, if at all. I do appreciate your good intentions and cyber-friendship, I'm just not cut from that mold.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    This is a somewhat Occupational Therapist (OT) as it's more of a general observation, but the cw said that kids who enter that system are categorized into one of 3 categories: sexual offenders, substance abusers, or anger management, and their rehabilitative treatment is based on that category. I told her that would be a no-brainer for difficult child since he's not done anything sexual and has not done illegal drugs. (Although I think he has every sign of a future substance abuser). Anyway, she said she agreed, given his latest charge.

    But, aren't there some juvenile offenders who wouldn't fit into any of these 3 categories? What about young teens who get together and start trying to out-do each other or get caught up into doing stupid stuff and steal a car or something, then wreck it, maybe hurting someone. I don't know, it just seems to me that there is a lot more out there.

    Most, but not all, of difficult child's charges didn't result from angry explosion. Actually, this assualt charge didn't result from him being angry.
  14. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I agree with DDD, she has, very been there, lived it, real, advice for you. The great thing about being an adult is that you don't have to be what you learned growing up. You have the ability to use your mind and rationalize the facts before you. You've already shown us that you can do that because you have in the past. I think maybe right now, you're just having difficulty separating your heart from your head.

    It's very difficult to have to let go of your son especially under the circumstances you had to. I had to let go of my difficult child in less than desirable circumstances. The one thing I knew was that whatever I had done while my difficult child was home, DID NOT WORK and in fact her behaviors were exasberated while living at home. She continues to be a difficult child and her life is still unstable and unproductive, but she is not physical that I know of and doesn't "blow" like she used to. She's a slow learner, still messing up her life. The thing is though that she is doing this on her own with no interference from me or her father. I hope at some point her life experiences "click" for her and she gets a clue. Some folks have to learn thru the life of hard knocks and while it's difficult for me to watch, she must be willing to continue that way of life because she hasn't taken the steps to change it.

    This very well may be the way your son has to learn too, but hopefully he'll get a clue where he's at and make the profound changes that would benefit him greatly.
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hang in there. The not knowing the exact sentence must be really frustrating, especially when different people are giving you wildly different estimates. Perhaps once you know, it will be give you a small sense of certainty, at least.

    It's hard to say if how he will turn out; try hard not to project so far into the future, one step at a time here. Focusing on positives was the only way I got through tough times, as well... even if it was a tiny little positive. I grasped onto that tiny little thing with all my strength some days.

    My week has gotten away from me once again.. but I will message you..
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K...the one thing that I think is so much in his favor for your son is that he is getting his consequences now when he is a juvenile. This doesnt have to ruin the rest of his life. He can learn from his mistakes and get out of the juvenile system and not enter the adult system. He has that choice. He doesnt have to have adult charges on his record. Everything he has right now is from age 14 and below.

    I wish Cory had been forced to do juvenile time because maybe then he wouldnt have thought the law was joking and that they didnt apply to him. It took him until he was 20 before they finally had enough of his bs and it was ME who forced their hands. Believe me, you dont want to be the one who forces your son to have 4 adult felonies on his record. Those never go away and now Cory is pretty much doomed. I know what it is like to worry about a kid who will probably bounce in and out of jail. That is what we predict for Cory. We can only hope he doesnt do it too awfully much. We have been pleasantly surprised that he has made it an entire year so far...that is better than his past track record...sigh.
  17. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Nothing to add, just hugs.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, the not knowing the sentence, even 2 mos after the arrest, is nerve racking. It would be a lost easy for me to focus my plans better if I knew where he was going and the time range. I did happen to think later last night that the woman I spoke to at state Department of Juvenile Justice last week also told me that his sentence would be towward the shorter end because he'd never been in state Department of Juvenile Justice before and all his offenses were crimes against property except this last one and it's a misdemeanor. Anyway, we will just have to wait another 4 weeks and find out for sure.

    The cw seemed very nice- I hope that lasts! It's another situation where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing though. My therapist (who used to work there) said that is probably the case and that his qquality of mental health treatment while in depends solely on the therapist assigned to him. The cw apparenyl handles the paperwork as it pertains to his court documents. She knew nothiing about the medications, mental health treatment, educational records, or any paperwork related to those two areas. I have to handle those areas differently.

    Thanks for the support-
  19. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I whole heartedly agree with Janet. I do not see this as hopeless I see it as a chance for your GFGto change before he is an adult. I understand your fear and your pain. I have lived it also but I also know that there comes a time when we have to accept that we no longer have any control over our difficult child and his situation and that it is time to work on ourselves.

    I am concerned because you say that you have no hope for his future and that you believe he will never get out of the system etc. That kind of negativity will just eat you alive and serves no healthy purpose. You defeat yourself and your son if you do not leave a door open for change and a chance at a better life. It is now time to switch gears and work on yourself, get healthy, and try to find a new outlook on life. This way when your son gets out and is doing good you can have a new and better relationship with him. If he doesn't at least you will be in a better place.

    I am not trying to be mean or judgemental it is just an observation and a hope that you can let go of your need to try and control this situation. It is futile he is now in the hands of Department of Juvenile Justice there is no longer any hope for you to change this or control it. I hope that you can learn to accept that. I hope that you can find the strenght to do what you need to do to change yourself and your outlook. Please take care of yourself so that you can find some peace and future happiness. -RM