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Old 10-25-2012, 07:51 PM   #21
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Re: criminal justice

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I said this on the first page but I don't think "the system" is turning their backs on these kids. I am sure a large majority receive medical, food stamps, day care assistance, boys and girls club, big sister/big brother, etc. there are tons of programs for at risk youth. What else would you recommend be done? The government can't go back in time and give the child a competent parent. The children with a parent in jail and not receiving services is because they have a stable other parent or caregiver to step in....

I guess I still don't even get what you are saying either. It isn't fair to the kids because their parent is in jail so the system needs to change? What about kids whose moms or dad's die? Does the system step in to help them? That isn't fair. What about the kids born with severe disabilities? That isn't fair? Life isn't fair and everyone has to try and do the best with the cards they are dealt. There is no Santa that will come and right all the worlds wrongs.
Yes, that's what I'm saying. I'm saying that the criminal justice system has harmful effects, and it/we should acknowledge that fact, and design a solution to it. This bad thing that it does should be part of the conversation we have about justice.

The criminal justice system is shaped like this because we shape it. It's designed this way because we design it. It isn't life. It's a social institution over which we have full control.

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Old 10-25-2012, 08:02 PM   #22
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Re: criminal justice

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It doesnt matter how many programs you put in place. It wont make an ounce of difference if the offender isnt receptive, and no one can control that but the offender him/herself. It isnt a system problem, its a human problem.
And if the offender is receptive? The vast majority of men are in prison for non violent, drug related crime. Does that make them ideal fathers? No. Does it make them worthless fathers? No. It doesn't.

My BIL is in and out of jail. He's unstable, and he's an unstable presence in his children's life. They're extremely lucky, if you can call it that, that they have a loving grandfather who is willing and able to have custody of them. But my BIL loves his kids, and they love him, and I don't think his situation is unique, even if their solution is, and I don't think that having him locked up half their life is a socially valuable solution.

What I'm trying to say is that incarceration is more disruptive, and more dangerous than is commonly accepted. And I think there are -- I think there must be -- alternatives, that can only be discovered when the conversation around criminal justice is expanded to recognise its indirect effects.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:02 PM   #23
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Re: criminal justice

I'm lost. Daddy breaks the law and can't pay child support. Mommy applies for assistance and receives it. Child is cared for and healthy. I'm missing how the system is punishing the child.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:05 PM   #24
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Hillargh I'm so sorry that happened to you.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #25
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Re: criminal justice

I agree with all the pps, but I think(?) I also see what Jan's mum is trying to say. There is a cycle at play that obviously needs to be broken. I can understand how someone with little experience with the legal system could think one way, and people with that experience could feel jaded instead. I think these children are in need of emotional support. Once heard that children whose parents went to jail had a fifty percent chance of doing the same. Why is this? If it is because of lack of mentor type influence, maybe we need to make sure there are more programs like big brothers/sisters. Is it because they idealized the parents? Maybe there should be programs that let the kids see the victims and impact of their parents crimes? Maybe counseling should be more available.

Of course some of these programs may be accessible and I don't know. Also I have seen many instanceswhere non violent offenders are shown tenancy when they have children to care for. It's usually after multiple arrests that they do jail time, but again I know that isn't always the case.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:18 PM   #26
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Re: criminal justice

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That's not a different system, it's another option in the same system. It's still an individualized choice. Having more options is great. But that doesn't mean if they're offered they'll be taken advantage of, followed through with, or cared about.

But then again, maybe I'm just jaded like April. When my father was offered an amazing spot, for free, in one of the best drug treatment facilities in the US after having many strings pulled, he decided against. He felt it would be better to go home, molest my sister that had just had a brain tumor removed, and shoot the coke he got from a new dealer in me before he risked it on himself.

Even an ideal system doesn't change the evil in the world. Nothing never will.

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And that is the most horrifying thing I've heard in a long time. I'm so sorry.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:21 PM   #27
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We babysat a foster boy for about 2 weeks - he was 15 and he idolized his family and wanted to look them all up on the OK prison system website.

It broke my heart. DH worked nights the first week and the kid was a mess. When DH was around, he was great, he wanted to do everything he did.

Luckily his foster mom had 3 awesome older sons and he benefitted from that.

I cannot stand that some children suffer like that.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #28
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Re: criminal justice

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Originally Posted by jam's mum View Post
And if the offender is receptive? The vast majority of men are in prison for non violent, drug related crime. Does that make them ideal fathers? No. Does it make them worthless fathers? No. It doesn't.

My BIL is in and out of jail. He's unstable, and he's an unstable presence in his children's life. They're extremely lucky, if you can call it that, that they have a loving grandfather who is willing and able to have custody of them. But my BIL loves his kids, and they love him, and I don't think his situation is unique, even if their solution is, and I don't think that having him locked up half their life is a socially valuable solution.

What I'm trying to say is that incarceration is more disruptive, and more dangerous than is commonly accepted. And I think there are -- I think there must be -- alternatives, that can only be discovered when the conversation around criminal justice is expanded to recognise its indirect effects.
If the offender is receptive, then the programs are already in place. The system can only lead the horse to water. You say nonviolent drug related crimes like those are no big deal. I dont think youre understanding the lifestyle that leads to these crimes...and the children that are exposed and affected by that lifestyle. The type of offender that gets caught is not likely to be someone who smokes pot once in a while to loosen up. They are usually people completely addicted to something hard. (though they may only get caught using a lesser evil, I dont believe that so many people only smoking pot would be so desperate and stupid to get caught...its the hard drugs that make you act like that). These offenders are so addicted that theyll lie, cheat and steal. They steal from their families, from their children. Theyll use their children. Anything to get a fix. They generally only get caught when theyve strained their families of everything they have and used them all they could so they go out and make stupid mistakes in public trying to get their fix. By that point its probably better for the child to get some more seperation from the parent. And to show them that its not ok or normal to live like that. I think its a good thing. I was that child and Im grateful for the system.

I know the statistics say so many children of drug convicted parents will end up the same, but im willing to bet that those numbers skyrocket for children of drug addicted parents who dont get caught. They live that life as their "normal" for 18 years! Its always sad when a parents decisions affect a child so profoundly, but i truly think the system is set up as good as it can be for people who dont want to change. Ive had plenty of experience with it and know that its all on the individual. Its just easier to blame the abstract "system" than someone you can look in the eyes. I also know a few people who were in that system going round and round and finally broke free of it and they dont blame the system at all.

In any case, if youre interested in this cause, there is a program that does exactly what youre describing, and urges judges to place drug criminals in their program as an alternative to incarceration, but i cant remember the name of it. If you look up Trey Anastasio on google youll find it. Hes a member of Phish who went through the program and is a big advocate.

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Old 10-26-2012, 05:18 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harmoni247

If the offender is receptive, then the programs are already in place. The system can only lead the horse to water. You say nonviolent drug related crimes like those are no big deal. I dont think youre understanding the lifestyle that leads to these crimes...and the children that are exposed and affected by that lifestyle. The type of offender that gets caught is not likely to be someone who smokes pot once in a while to loosen up. They are usually people completely addicted to something hard. (though they may only get caught using a lesser evil, I dont believe that so many people only smoking pot would be so desperate and stupid to get caught...its the hard drugs that make you act like that). These offenders are so addicted that theyll lie, cheat and steal. They steal from their families, from their children. Theyll use their children. Anything to get a fix. They generally only get caught when theyve strained their families of everything they have and used them all they could so they go out and make stupid mistakes in public trying to get their fix. By that point its probably better for the child to get some more seperation from the parent. And to show them that its not ok or normal to live like that. I think its a good thing. I was that child and Im grateful for the system.

I know the statistics say so many children of drug convicted parents will end up the same, but im willing to bet that those numbers skyrocket for children of drug addicted parents who dont get caught. They live that life as their "normal" for 18 years! Its always sad when a parents decisions affect a child so profoundly, but i truly think the system is set up as good as it can be for people who dont want to change. Ive had plenty of experience with it and know that its all on the individual. Its just easier to blame the abstract "system" than someone you can look in the eyes. I also know a few people who were in that system going round and round and finally broke free of it and they dont blame the system at all.

In any case, if youre interested in this cause, there is a program that does exactly what youre describing, and urges judges to place drug criminals in their program as an alternative to incarceration, but i cant remember the name of it. If you look up Trey Anastasio on google youll find it. Hes a member of Phish who went through the program and is a big advocate.
Drug court. They made it into a TV show now. Have you seen it? It's great to see successes.

And I agree with the lifestyle point. On top of them being an addict themselves, ime many are the dealers. And whether they're violent or not, they are ruining lives and families. They are hurting someone's brother, mother, son, daughter. Encouraging their addiction for profit. If you can stand on a corner and sell dope to someone's child, how can you expect yourself to care for your own when you obviously don't have the compassion to care for others'? Kwim?

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Originally Posted by mysticmomma1879
Hillargh I'm so sorry that happened to you.
Thank you.

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Originally Posted by jam's mum

And that is the most horrifying thing I've heard in a long time. I'm so sorry.
Thank you.

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Old 10-26-2012, 06:00 AM   #30
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Yes there is a disproportionate number of minorities in jail. Yes there should be alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. The problem I think you are seeing is that the criminal justice system is reactive, not proactive. They do not become involved until after the crime has been committed. What I think is really needed is a discussion on how to prevent these people from commuting these crimes in the first place.
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