What are other's experiences with letting their child stay in jail?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by BKS, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. BKS

    BKS New Member

    Hi all,

    I posted a message about 20 minutes ago and should have asked a question.

    Our son is in jail tonight for driving under the influence.

    What have others experienced who went through this with their children as well? Did the time spent there have any impact?

    Thanks (as always),

  2. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We bailed our difficult child out of jail for DUI and wished we hadn't. On one hand, she did not like being in jail even for the short time that she was there and never got another DUI. However, it was just one more time that we rescued her from real consequences and she just continued down the road to addiction.

    We were told later by a police officer that they would have let her go even if we hadn't bailed her out. There is just not enough room in the jails to hold onto everyone with a DUI who can't make bail (at least in my state). I wish now that we had just let her sit there.

    Outpatient rehab is obviously not working for your son. Your signature says that he is kicked out. Is that up-to-date? If so, I think you should just keep in minimal contact with him until he agrees to go for inpatient treatment and let him suffer the consequences of his behavior . . . including sitting in jail for a while. Of course, that is easy for me to say since it is not my child.

  3. BKS

    BKS New Member

    Hi Kathy,

    We kicked him out in October but kept in touch with him, telling him we would support him in a "sober" lifestyle. In early January, we let him move back in with the understanding that he go to rehab - which he seemed to embrace during the "honeymoon period". We are going to work tomorrow and I guess will wait for his call. We don't know how this works.....

  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I allowed mine to sit for 23 days. He would have stayed longer, but his grandfather died, and I felt like he needed to be at the funeral. Even then, I would not post bail. I had told him the day before he was arrested that he was headed down that road, and it would long an lonely. I even shut off my house phone so he could not call. When his grandfather died, I called in some favors, and the judge let him out on a PR bond. He has not been in trouble with the law since.
  5. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    My difficult child was arrested last year when he was 18 years old for theft, because he needed money to buy drugs and he took jewelry from the mother of a friend of his. We posted bail for him, because I was terrified at the thought of my son being behind bars. However just 3 days later he was arrested again for another theft, which was a felony charge. This time we refused to post bail, and he stayed in jail for months. He was convicted of two felony charges but the judge put him in a special drug probation program to help him and keep him out of prison. Our difficult child was off of drugs for 9 months when he was in jail, but as soon as he was released he started using again. Even being locked up was not enough to convince difficult child that he has a drug problem. Unfortunately our difficult child has not made the decision that he can Never use drugs at all, and until he realizes this there is very little that husband and I can do. Our difficult child has to be drug tested as part of his probation, and he has failed two drug tests so far. Last week he was called before the same judge for the probation violations, and she ordered difficult child to go back to jail for the next two months.
    I'm sure that you are worried about your difficult child being locked up, but I have found that these kids are definitely survivors. I am not worried about the safety of my difficult child when he is in jail, because he has not been hurt and he knows how to act and what to do when he is in jail. At least when your difficult child is in jail he is not driving wildly and smoking and drinking while driving. Maybe you can see if the judge can order your difficult child to attend an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) on a court ordered basis. I would NOT bail your difficult child out of jail until he agrees to go to get treatment, and you are able to make all the arrangements to get him admitted to a treatment center. Good luck, and please let us know what happens. (((HUGS)))
  6. michmaree

    michmaree New Member

    Hi there.....Our 21yr old daughter just got PR'd after 7 days in jail.....when we had to call the police on her (hardest thing to do EVER)! For going crazy and breaking everything in her room literally Everything!...Because I tried to take cell phone cuz she only uses it to contact Co-drug users....I don't call them friends....and I'm not paying for a cell so she can get drugs....

    We really thought it would do her some good .....she kept calling my mom to bail her out.....had to fight with her not to.....the first 24 hours after release were real good....its been down hill since then....back to using....still living at home....no cell.....I'm just waiting for court so judge can hopefully put her in rehab....Al though she's ..been there done that...I gotta say even though I hated the thought of her in jail (scary).....Its much better than the thought of her out on the street running with her crowd...much safer too!....I finally got some good sleep.....too bad it didn't have a better effect on her!

    She's been thru some VERY scary situations which I will talk about in future posts....situations that would scare the **** out of me ...my one conclusion....my difficult child will stop using when SHE chooses to! But, as always, looking for an answer I think I should take her to a psychiatric to check if there isn't some other things going on....she's always had some behavioral issues but only at home....had to be center of attention ALWAYS...difficulty with friendships....cutting (but just once).....ugh this is all new to me...love this site! Give it a try it may help your difficult child and its safer then the street.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi...my son spent 2 weeks in jail over his 19 th birthday. He had been arrested for the umpteenth time for something stupid so they held him without bail. On the one hand it was awful to have my son in jail, on the other hand it did teach him it's a place he really doesn't want to be. And at that point it made him very willing to go to rehab....

    Now my son seems to be a slow learner and much has happened since....but i think in his process being in jail was a good piece of the puzzle.....and jail ia better and probably a bit safer than prison. So let him sit there for a while and do not bail him out,

  8. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member

    Mine stayed for five days in November. I thought it was best and even wrote the DA asking him to deny bail. They do trials really fast there and that's the only reason why he didn't say longer.

    when he got out, his choices were to go to the rehab I selected or I would leave him at the courthouse.

    he will tell you now it was the right thing to do. He had been in jail twice before but only for hours and those were 'nicer' jails. This is likely one of the worst ones in my state.

    i encourage you to read Allison Bottke's book on setting boundaries with your adult children.

    good luck!!
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't know where I stand on this, I am honestly undecided. In our area you would not sit in jail very long for a DUI, there is no room to hold them. However the courts are very tough on them and so once they have their day in court they will suffer some serious consequences. I think whether you bail him out or not depends on so many things and is unique to each person. I think perhaps I would leave this up to him, see what he says, don't offer anything. He got himself into this mess so he should have to figure out what to do.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, there's your answer. He is in jail because he was not living a "sober" lifestyle. Let him sit in there until he agrees to go straight into an inpatient rehab center.

  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I have a question. Is he using your vehicle or insurance? If so then get him off immediately. As for sitting in jail...I learned through many experiences that 1) they usually hate it and 2)they are not hurt while there. -RM
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes definitely get him off your insurance. Although we had a problem doing that because as long as she was living in our home our insurance company required us to cover her under our policy. It wasn't until she had a permanent address elsewhere that we could take her off ours.
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think the insurance coverage depends on your state. We had no problem with getting our difficult child her own insurance coverage while she was living in our house. We also signed the title of the car (an old junker) over to her so there would be no liability for us if she had an accident while drunk or high.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It probably does depend on the state, I thought I qualified that response but I guess I didn't. It probably also depends on the insurance company. We were told by our insurance company that if there is a young family member who is currently on your insurance and he/she is living with you, you cannot take them off your insurance because they assume the person will drive cars in your household. Only after that person is no longer living with you can you take them off your insurance. And in fact when our easy child moved into her own apartment we had to provide them her new address and a copy of the declarations page from her own insurance policy to prove she had her own. Even when we had taken difficult child's access to any of the cars away and she did not drive for over two years we had to carry her on our insurance.

    Perhaps the difference was that you got your difficult child her own insurance. I'm not sure this poster wants to pay for her difficult child's own insurance. I think you may have had more of a problem if you tried to take her off yours but didn't get her own.

    I guess what I'm really saying BKS is that you should check with your insurance company to see what you can and cannot do.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Another thought....paying for a lawyer is a separate decision from bailing him out. I think letting him sit in jail for a for a few days is a good idea. I would however probably talk to a lawyer to see what the long term ramifications are of the charges and it may be worth paying for a lawyer....in our case the lawyer helped with both making it clear that treatment was his beat option and in working with the da for that to be part of the plea bargain. And yes don't let him drive your car!

  16. Petunia

    Petunia New Member

    Hi, BKS. I'm probably a bit late coming into this thread, but wanted to respond anyway. I don't post much, but lurk often, and draw strength from it. I guess I should be trying to give back as well, so here I am! I'll share a bit of my story in the hopes it will be helpful to you.
    Our son was first incarcerated in a juvenile facility for 9 months when he was 16/17. It was very difficult, but at least I knew he didn't have access to drugs or the dangerous lifestyle he had been living. While there he participated in an intensive drug rehab program. When he was released, he did very well and said he never, ever, ever wanted to go back. Oh, I had so much hope! That lasted about 3 months and he relapsed and was arrested for theft and criminal trespass. During the initial series of events (prior to the juvie sentence), husband and I had been in constant contact with law enforcement, reporting any probation violation and basically pushing for his incarceration, as there are NO viable inpatient private rehab options in our area, and our insurance doesn't cover mental health. Period. Anyway, we felt that we had exhausted all options we had access to and that perhaps some time behind bars would benefit our son...if nothing else, we could have some peace at least knowing where he was and not worrying he was buried in a shallow grave somewhere or laying in a ditch. Anyway, when he was released we did everything (I mean, everything) we possibly could to support him and shield him from his former "friends" (for lack of a better term). We helped him get a job (by means of friends in good places), allowed him to get his learner's permit (prior to this I refused to let him drive, because I felt if I knew there was a chance he was under the influence and I still let him drive, the blood would be on my hands when he hurt/killed someone), supported him by attending NA meetings, signed him up for college courses, etc, etc. During the time he was in juvie and when he was released, we told him this was it. We were 100% behind him, supporting him, giving him everything he needed to stay sober. If he made the choice to go back to his old lifestyle, we were done until he could prove he was ready to change. We had been dealing with the substance abuse for 4 years, the behavioral issues his whole life, and we cannot continue to let him suck the lifeblood out of us forever.
    Anyway, he did well for a few months, sought out his old crowd, began using again, and then the arrest. This time around, we decided not to interfere with the legal process at all. We didn't push for any type of punishment, nor did we seek leniency. The state had the discretion to waive him to adult court, which would have made a felony record, or keep the charge juvenile (he was a couple months short of his 18th birthday). We just let things take their course. Of course, there were 3 months in between the arrest and his court date, during which time his drug use spiraled, hideous behavior returned, etc, etc. We laid out rules for him continuing to live with us after he turned 18 (consisted of 1) You either go to college, or you work, or you do both; 2) You stay sober and do not ever bring drugs into our home and you behave respectfully while in our home 3) You help with household expenses, either through a minimal payment of $40/week or through contributing to household chores). This was unacceptable to him, so on his 18th birthday he was out. There was about 16 days between that time and his court date, during which he was a couch surfer. This experience did not change his attitude about using.
    The State left his charge juvenile but sentenced him to an adult jail facility for 30 days, which is where he is currently. We are not providing commissary money (did that the first time, told him if he was ever arrested again we wouldn't be doing that). But I have acccepted a couple of calls from him.
    I don't know your difficult child, and I don't know his history. Mine is not too troubled by his stay in jail. He says it's much easier than juvie (no strict times to get out your bed and make it, no schooling required, no therapy required, you don't have to call the guards "sir", etc). I suspect when he is released he'll go back to his old lifestyle again, confident that he can survive jail again if he must. But we will help him when he has shown us that he is ready to change. I won't believe lip service, I'll have to see some action.
    Now, the other side of this story is your Mom heart. I know the anxiety you are feeling. The questions that weigh on your heart: Will he be treated properly? How will this affect his future? What will happen? How will this ever get any better? What should I do? What shouldn't I do? Who can help? The answers to many things are unknown. But this much we know (even if we don't WANT to know it): The choice is his. He CAN change. He CAN be a productive member of society. He CAN stay out of trouble. The real question to ask is: Does he WANT to? Is he willing to put forth the effort to try? Only he can answer these questions. And, you must ask yourself: What am I willing to put up with in my home and in my life? Only you can answer these questions.
    Sometimes we moms get so close to the forest that we can't see the trees. Then the trees start crashing down around us and we're so deep into the forest that we can't find our way back out. Besides, the road out is so painful! Detachment could more aptly be described as "amputation" because it's just as traumatic. How many nights have I lain awake? More than I've slept through. At least while he's in jail, I know he's warm, has clothing, has food, etc. And there's always the chance that this experience will make an impact. Because it's human nature not to change something until it becomes too uncomfortable to live with. Jail may just be the discomfort your difficult child needs to change.
    Hopefully this was a helpful response. Just knowing that someone else has been where you are, thinks like you do, struggles like you, will hopefully give you strength in whatever decision you make.

    Good luck and take care,
  17. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Son not in jail but in residential treatment facility, but hope i can be as strong as you are Petunia!