NEED ADVICE talked to difficult child's PO today!


New Member
Well I finally got to speak with the PO today. She was hot because I told her supervisor that I had made several calls that had not been returned. After an initial bout of indignation and denial we put that behind us and got down to business. She admits that my son's case is difficult due to his MH difficulties. She says that in her opinion a halfway house or sober house is not a good placement for my son. She said that she would talk to some other more experienced people to see if there are any other possible placements that they would recommend. She said that my difficult child could stay in prison for another year and a half plus but that she is willing to let him out in a couple of weeks IF he has a suitable placement. I asked her what she felt was a suitable placement and she said that if I agreed to take him back under my roof she would recommend that the judge let him out. I told her that I could not control him before he went in and that he has had no treatment since he went in so how did she feel that coming home to me was a good placement. I told her I was alone most of the time and asked what kind of support and back up i could expect to keep my difficult child on track. She said that she would make anything I asked for a requirement of his parole. she mentioned random Drug testing, full MH evaluation, drug and alcohol counseling, psychotherapy, life skills etc. She also asked me to send her any diagnosis I might have on him. She said to talk to my husband and get back to her before the hearing in two weeks.

So I am asking those of you who have been there done that what their thoughts and experiences are and what things I should ask for if I agree to give difficult child a place to live. -RM

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I've not had any experience in this type of setting so take this for what it's worth.

My gut instinct would be NO! difficult child is paying consequences; unfortunately those consequences are not addressing his mental health needs.

Having said that, I worry more for your safety & that of your home than difficult children need for placement. Court ordered placement in your home doesn't guarantee success in treatment. If difficult child chooses not to attend meetings or therapy is his parole revoked?

Again, take this for what it's worth. I'm more worried for you at this point.


New Member
Linda, Thank you for your concern. There are a couple of other issues that will factor into my decision. difficult child called today and he is beginning to have seizures. They decided it is the Thorizine and have taken him off it. The other thing is that I asked him if when he left the house the night he broke my rib if he used drugs. He had left for only a few minutes and was calm when he left but immediately started raging agin when he returned. He told me that yes, he had slipped out and smoked a joint. I recently read about stuff like embalming fluid being added to Marijuania that can cause violent rages (see post in SA on this topic). So I wonder if difficult child had gotten into this designer pot. In answer to your othe question, yes, if difficult child doesn't conform to all conditions he would go back to prison. It would probably for an even longer time because he would have additional probation violations as a result.

I have gotten so use to the peace and quiet around here since difficult child is gone. I am so aware of how horrible an esistance I was living back then. If could find another program that was appropriate for difficult child I am sure the PO wold sign off on it I just can't find anything that would not cost me mega bucks and I am nt goin to do that again. -RM


Well-Known Member
This is such a difficult decision. I honestly dont know how you make it. Have you checked into what the local adult mental health system looks like in your area? What services are available? Do you happen to have anything remotely approaching a day treatment program for adults? Some places do.

Who would teach him life skills? That sounds all good on paper but exactly who does that? What about any job training? Could you hook him into say voc rehab?

You said seizures...have they done an EEG? What medications is he on again? You really want to have a neurologist and a good psychiatrist on board immediately when he gets out. Its possible his rages are a form of epilepsy.

Im just throwing things out.


New Member
Janet, I hear you about the evaluation! The sick thing is I said that he needed an EEG back when he began getting into all this trouble and his therapist scoffed at me.
The prison has him on Prozac and depakote. He was also on Thorizine but they took him off that when he had the sesiure and I am not sure what just stopping that is going to do to him. This whole thing is scaring the heck out of me. -RM


Well-Known Member
Well all kinds of red flags went up for me. It's great that she wants to make that all a condition of his parole, but who is going to see to it that it gets done? You. And if he doesn't who will difficult child and PO blame for his failure? You. As for whether or not he was on drugs when he hurt you, does that really matter considering he would be returning to your home without having had any drugs or alcohol treatment?

I wouldn't do it. It sounds to me like she calmed you down and set you up to take the fall next time.


Well-Known Member
Well I may consider it if I could find out what services are available in your community. We have some surprisingly good services for drug and alcohol abuse here. Maybe its because it is such a problem. They have a day treatment program just for that where the person goes every day from I think 9 am till 5 pm. I dont know how long the program lasts but it is mandatory for some. They also do an evening thing for some DUI classes.

We also have a developmental disability program and a person can qualify for community support if they are severely mentally ill enough to require it. That can include different services such as transportation, help in the home, help in the community, life skills training, and of course there is therapy, adult group homes etc.

From some of the posts you have written about your difficult child I have to believe he would qualify for some of these services. I would be calling everyone I could find and see what is out there. I would want as much in place before he breathed one free breath. I would also get him to sign a medical power of attorney so that you can enforce treatment.


New Member

"As for whether or not he was on drugs when he hurt you, does that really matter considering he would be returning to your home without having had any drugs or alcohol treatment?"

I said almost exactly that to the PO. I said that difficult child should go to a 30 day treatment program before comming home to me and she said that he was taken into custody for crimminal charges not of a drug nature so that is why it was not addressed in prison or court. She said that it is not a condition of his release. and that since it is not documented anywhere in the legal papers it might be difficult to make a 30 day program a condition at this point in time. -RM


New Member
<font color="brown">i have to say i agree 100% with-witz. this is a sucker's bet & guess who's being set up as the sucker? good ole mom, that's who.

i know that it breaks your heart that he is in prison & could spend a significant amount of time there yet. however, whether or not he was high when he attacked you is not the issue. for me the issue is that he MUST face his consequences & you should not rescue him....again. he had the opportunity to shorten his sentence & he blew that. nothing signifcant has changed to think he would do any better on the outside. quite the opposite.

this is when you need to stiffen your weary spine & stand tall for yourself. you won't have a moments peace if you take him back into your home. they may say he'll be sent back toute sweet if he breaks his parole requirements, but they'll have to catch him first.

hold on to the peace of mind & sense of safety you now have. please.

kris </font>

Stella Johnson

Active Member
Would it be possible to find some kind of mental health rehab in your area? I really don't think it is a good idea for him to come home. You can't control him or his actions. I would hate to see you get hurt again.

I know it would be hard to turn my child away. I haven't had to do it, and hope I never do.



New Member
"he had the opportunity to shorten his sentence & he blew that. nothing signifcant has changed to think he would do any better on the outside. quite the opposite. "

Kris, I agree with you that difficult child blew an opportunity for an early out. I do not agree that there is nothing significant to make me think he would do better on the outside. My difficult child has been in and out of trouble all his life. He has always had a hard time self regulating. He was always impulsive and never really understood boundries. It didn't become a legal problem until he was in HS. He is very easily influenced by other people both good and bad.

My difficult child has only ever done well with alot of caring support. That is not anything he will get in prison. difficult child can be loving and kind and compassionate. He can be respectful and conciderate. He has a wonderful sence of humor and has a desire to do well and "prove" himself. Like every other mom here on the board I talk mostly about difficult child's problems but he does have a good side too. Just like all our difficult child's do. I often think about Janet's and Ant's story. It was not until Janet brought Ant home and gave him the support system he needed that he began to really turn around. I openly admit that Ant had come a much longer way before Janet brough him home than my difficult child has come but the beautiful posts she has been making have given me much to think about and also much hope. -RM


New Member
RM ~ when I was searching for placement for my difficult child, I found Cannan Land It is here in Alabama.
In a nutshell, the founder is a reformed hell's angel (drugs & all) He founded this FREE program. The men have to committ to the propram for 12 mths.
I couldn't convince my son to go, in his mind 12 mths was 12 yrs.
My son's PO was going to go along with his placement there if I could get him to go.

If you want info about it let me know.

In my experience my son's po was willing to go along with just about anything we could come up with. Even my difficult child living with relative in another state.
Don't fall for the empty promises of random drug test, accountablity, etc.

My son knew 1 mth ahead the day and time to go for drug testing, yes, he always had a clean test, except once.
Not to say they are all that way, but here that has been the norm. He could say he spent the last mth painting the sky blue, as long as he signed in and gave a urine sample it was okay.

Really weigh all the pros and cons of difficult child returning. I don't know the whole story, but a broken rib? Please take time to really remember how your life was when difficult child was home.

Sending prayers for you,


New Member
Traci, Thank you! I do remember how it was and I do not want to go there again.
I just read over my old posts and I asked myself what has changed? Well 1) difficult child never had seisures before going to prison and they decided to give him all kinds of drugs without a complete evaluation. 2) difficult child never physically hurt himself on purpose before going into prison. 3)difficult child always had access to therapy and medical help before going into prison.

In my old posts I stated that difficult child would not live under my roof until he got substance abuse counciling. I wold stand firm on that but for the fact that I am now told he won't get that service until he gets out of prison. Then I am told he won't get out of prison until he has a place to go. To which I say "fine how about a sober house or a treatment program?" The response being that sober houses in our county are in the worst of drug neighborhoods and that the PO can't recommend any of them. So I guess basically the PO is saying that difficult child won't have access to any real help until he gets out and he isn't gonna get out unless I give him a suitable address.

Are these changes enough to make me reconcider? The jury is still out. -RM


Well-Known Member
Follow your heart. I've found that the experts don't know as much as we do about our kids. If you think you can handle it, bring him home. If not, don't let the mommy-guilt rule your decision. If you decide to bring him home, come up with your own plan. Have an emergency plan in place, just in case. Decide what you must do to keep yourself safe at all times. Create a "must do" list and have it ready for him: ie, job, school, counseling, etc. Let him add to or adjust (ownership issues). Make him accountable for following it.


New Member
Thank you Karen. I agree that I would want my own plan aside from the PO. I am pretty sure I would be safe as long as difficult child isn't using. But therein lies the problem. I need to make sure there is a strong enough support system in place that difficult child doesn't immediately go back to his old friends and his old ways. What is the best way to acomplish this? The truth is I do not know. So much of it depends on difficult child being willing and able to take advantage of the supports that will be in place.

husband is being pretty rigid right now.He has agreed to be open to discussion but has very strong feelings for not letting difficult child come home to our house. husband wants to get difficult child a small apt and we would administer in the executive functions dept. I do not think that is a good solution. It gives difficult child too much unsupervised time and the apt could end up just providing difficult child and his deadbeat friends with a place to party and it would be on our dime. husband says that if difficult child chose to use the apt in that way, then it would be on difficult child. husband says that at least I and easy child 2 and husband would not be at risk. -RM


New Member
I feel for you because I really don't know what I would do in your situation. I know I have gotten used to the peace of my difficult child not living home and it would take something really really drastic for me to ever consider my difficult child living home and he has made some huge positive changes in his life. I always say he will never live home again and I hope I'm never faced with having to change my mind on that one. I just know you don't want to go back to the way it was, and like you said, you had no control over him before, so what would change now. It doesn't seem like difficult child is going out of his way to convince you that he has, or can change and do whatever it takes to live in your home like a responsible mature adult and allow you and husband to live in peace.
Whatever you decide, make sure you and husband decide together. You don't want this turning into a nightmare and getting between you and husband because you didn't agree on the decision.


Well-Known Member
I don't envy you, for sure. Each of us has to make such difficult choices and decisions from the vast grey areas!

Some of my random thoughts and questions:
1) Are there better recovery house choices in another part
of your State? I know Karen's son has had a wide range of
locations and most of them have curfews, zero tolerance,
required meeting attendance etc. If that is an option I would vote hands down for that choice.

2. If he lives in your City, would you all be responsible for all his medical, transportation, housing and survival costs?

3. Does he seem to "get it" a bit better now or is it the
"I want out" philosophy speaking? If he is capable of truly
understanding a contract of rules that MUST be followed, and
understands he would be entirely on his own with the prison
system if he failed to conform then it "might" be worth serious consideration.

Like everyone else I would fully support your choice but I
tend to think that an independent (even if out of town) half
way house would be best and your husband's idea would be second
best. Truly I live daily with the stress of living with a
non-violent and compliant grown teen with issues....some are
physical, most are addiction resultant. Like you I love my
son to death. Like you I want him to be well & functioning
well again. Living with that daily tension of never knowing
what "might" happen erodes your life. You can never really
be relaxed. It is a high high price to pay. If you can
avoid it, I suggest you try. Hugs. DDD


New Member
Karen, "Whatever you decide, make sure you and husband decide together. You don't want this turning into a nightmare and getting between you and husband because you didn't agree on the decision. "

Most definately will do that. I have turned difficult child's room into a sewing/reading room.
He had trashed it so bad and I put alot of work into repairing and painting and decorating it. I refuse to give it up so If difficult child is allowed back he will have a tiny room at the back of the house and will have to pass by my door to get in and out of it. That has it's plusses and minuses. I will be more aware of his commings and goings but he will be close to my room and I will have to make sure it is secure at all times. difficult child has stolen from me many times in the past. It will also mean merging husband's office space with mine. Not a big problem since husband no longer works from home. I will also need to put a long distance code on my telephone and many other precautions. UG! Life has been so easy without him here. this time I will have zero support from family members. easy child 1 says her primary concern is to protect her kids from any of difficult child's fallout a decision I totally support. easy child 2 hates the idea of difficult child comming home and will probably move out as soon as he can if difficult child returns here. difficult child 1 and her husband say they are totally "done" with difficult child and want no contact. husband is gone more than he is home. I have no illusions that I will have any real influence on my difficult child. All I can hope is that he hates prison enough to shape up if he has some support.

DDD- your points are well taken. On one hand I want to give difficult child a chance on the other my stomach turns at the thought of having to deal with difficult child's many repulsive and destructive behaviors on a daily basis. Does he get it and will he conform to a set of rules? I haven't a clue and really no one can know for sure. Can I find other halfway houses in better neighborhoods? No, I have spent hours and hours searching. difficult child is closed out of many because of his MH issues or his assault charge or both. Will I be responsible for all his expenses. He is 19 so probably not but he will have no income if I don't support him. He is not going to have an easy time finding a job and he really needs to concentrat on getting himself together. I still get a small stipend for him that will last until his 21 birthday. It will help but not cover his living expenses totally. husband and I have private health ins for him until he is 23. That should help get him good mental health services. With a new evaluation and a new diagnosis he might qualify for additional assistance that will take him past his 21 birthday.

I really think there should be work farms all over the country that are located very rurally out in the boonies so to speak where difficult child's like mine could live and work and make a valuable contribution without having access to towns and cities where they can get into trouble. entertainment would be brought to them on site. Their work would pay their way and they would have like companions and a sence of belonging and achievement. The families would not be brdened with expensive treatment programs that are temporary. Placement would be for their lifetime not just a year or a couple of months. Like assisted living but better because the difficult child's would be self supporting through their work raising food for or nation. -RM


Active Member
Drug testing, full MH evaluation, drug and alcohol counseling, psychotherapy, life skills

who is going to pay for this stuff?? ant got some of it free thru the county social services when he got out. he also can go to AA and NA mtgs and ant likes those.

thing is with ant, he only does well like your son with love, and firm rules and structure.

ant has been out nearly 5 months. he is drug free but I do believe he would drink given the opportunity. hence, the AA mtgs are crucial. he knows I have zero tolerance for any violence or disrespect. we still have the option of throwing them out. with a PO hanging over for the next 5 yrs, I am thinking ant will comply rather than go back to jail.

God be with you and your husband thru the difficult time of decisions.


Active Member
just saw that you have health ins. good!
keep in mind ant has no license or car and he still works daily. it means being more creative in where you are and where they are.

I got unlimited long distance on my phone, but ant has a cricket cell for his own.