Monday, March 2, 2009

Anger With The Criminal Justice System and Him

Thank you everyone for your comments about attending our son's sentencing. I read and re-read them all weekend trying to decide what decision I should make. Everyone had such good thoughts and comments. What's right and what's wrong, is it ever clear?

I attended the sentencing this morning. 6 months in the Department of Corrections (DOC) for removal of a theft deterrent device. 5 months in DOC for theft. Time suspended with 18 months intensive probation plus pay court costs, fines, and restitution. This was the result of a plea agreement for a guilty plea.

Now my anger. All along he said he wanted to be sentenced to The Center. It is a half-way house type thing operated by Johnson County and staffed by officers, kind of a jail without bars. They have work programs, NA meetings and treatment, provide a place to live, drug tests and rides to and from work. When the judge and lawyer began talking about this the lawyer informed the judge that our son had a good relationship with his parents and he wanted to be allowed to come back home. in addition he told the judge his parents had be making arrangements to get him in an Oxford House and maybe rehab. The judge then said, "OK, probation with release."

I was sitting there in "the gallery" and by this time I was so angry I am sure if I had stood up to say something the first words out of my mouth probably would have been 'WHAT THE F$@%" and it would have gotten worse from there. I'm sure contempt of court with a fine and jail would not have helped my anger.

All along he had told us his plan was to go to The Center. Then when he sees a chance to come home and probably go back to his old ways he jumps on the opportunity. My anger is directed at him and the justice system. First of all, we had not agreed to "get him into an Oxford House." We had discussed that may be what he needed. We did not agree to more rehab. We had discussed that may be what he needed but how was HE going to pay for it this time. We had already put out $17,000 in one year for 2 stays at rehab. He hears what he wants to hear, and cannot seem to process what is really said. NO ONE FROM THE JUSTICE SYSTEM EVER ASKS DAD AND MOM.

My anger with the justice system. The judge sits up there and agrees to whatever the lawyers say. There is only ONE person in the courtroom that is not and officer of the court or a defendant. THAT IS ME! The judge doesn't question him about moving back with his parents. The judge acknowledges that he violated house arrest and asks why he is incarcerated? My son's lawyer chirps in that he violated house arrest because of a warrant in Leavenworth County for traffic citation. That is why he was transported to and incarcerated in Johnson County. The judges response, "Oh, OK just a traffic warrant." HE VIOLATED HOUSE ARREST BECAUSE I THREW HIM OUT OF THE HOUSE BECAUSE HE WAS USING AGAIN AND MADE HIM TAKE THE DAMN CHIRPER AND DISCONNECT IT FROM THE PHONE LINE. No one says that. That is what put him in violation, LV County picked him up for JO County and then found his outstanding warrant and held him.

At least then the judge ask about any other outstanding warrants. KCKS has a warrant and so does LV County. The judge ordered him held until they decide if they want to come get him. If they don't come and get him, he comes home.

Home does not work for him or us. It just begins a cycle of promises, boredom and using.

We live in a rural/suburban area. There is no place close for him to work. There is no mass transit for him to get to place to work. He has a suspended license with no way to pay his fines so no way to get a license. He does not have a vehicle. All he did was get himself sent to a place that he knows that he can continue his using any time he wants. After all, we know dealers deliver. Dealers are better than Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut won't even deliver to our house.

Violation of his probation results in 11 months in the state pen.

If you have read this far thank you for suffering through my venting.


Cat said...

Its scary. My son is not yet 17 - his sentencing resulted in probation - but strangely he has improved...

I wish you the best - hang in there.

mother of drug addict said...

I feel your pain, I have written letter to the Judge spelling out exactly what will happen if they let (my daughter)Kelly out too soon, she will run from the rehab but do they listen? NO Like we don't know our own kids, I did put in the letter that she WOULD NOT be allowed to live here. No one says you have to let him come back to YOUR house. Remember it YOUR house!! and you have been through enough!

Syd said...

I agree with the comment above. It is your house. Perhaps tell him that it is right into Oxford House. Or the other center. Boundaries to take care of you aren't bad.

sydney_savage said...

Write a letter to the judge, talk to his Probation Officer. Do what you need to do to set clear boundaries. Your house is not some sort of rehab center or jailhouse and you should not be expected to play warden. He is an adult. The only way he will take ownership of his problems are if you make them HIS problems.

I don't have kids, but I realize what you must be going through. There is a certain instinct in us to take care of our own. I know this from the opposite end... my mother is an addict. I took care of her all throughout my childhood, and into early adulthood. Until, one day, no more. It became HER problem. No she could not stay with me, no she cold not have any money, no I would not help her die a slow death and live in her disease one day longer. That was the hardest moment of my life... to feel like I had abandoned her. It was the best thing I could have done...

People that abuse drugs or alcohol need a support system to CONTINUE and they WILL continue.

I seriously reccommend you both attend Al Anon with and open heart.

kristi said...

My nephew is in prison. Hubs and I have discussed letting him stay with us when he gets out. We do have some places close by where he (hopefully ) can get a job.

Auburn haired artist said...

Well, that's Johnson County for ya . . . They make me insanely angry too - That's why I always show up to court, you never know how things will happen, and what parts your kids will decide to omit.

I can say this much, The Center doesn't have a terribly high sucess rate, and huge number of the addicts fail in less than a week, or they just wander off to do what ever they please. Worthless program.
My son did an Oxford House here in Olathe,(for three weeks) That didn't work out so good either.
Bottom line, they WON'T get straight, until they make the choice to do the work. Sometimes, that means that they have to exhaust all their options, and just become sick of their life and all the misery.
Do what you have to do, and don't back down. It's the best thing that you can do for him. (and yourselves)

Jules said...

Yeah, I know you felt angry about the judge's decision, etc. But how would you feel if your son got raped during that 11 month state sentence you keep mentioning? It does happen, especially to younger guys.

My parents pulled the same stunt when I was in rehab three years ago. Threatening me via the phone while I was in there, telling me I wouldn't be able to come home, I would have to find my own place to live, and so on. Jail and homelessness doesn't help someone get clean, and it wouldn't have worked for me.

And to be perfectly frank, if they had followed through with their threat, that would have been the last they would have seen of me. As opposed to the wonderful relationship we have now, three years later, I am sober, employed and living on my own (of my own volition).