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Old 10-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #11
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Re: criminal justice

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Excellent post. My parents were drug addicts. When they had custody of us, we were neglected, abused. We had no food, no clothes, no one to care if we were taken care of. To think a different system would make criminal parents change their ways because of their kids makes no sense to me, as someone who has lived through that.
My DH is part of that different system. His program is specifically targeted at pregnant and parenting women with substance abuse issues, often women that are in or about to be sent to jail. Their success rates are quite heartening, far above national averages for recovery programs.

Many children will have a better childhood because their mothers were offered a chance to get better, to learn life skills and parenting skills, rather than just do their jail time.

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Old 10-25-2012, 04:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kaci

My DH is part of that different system. His program is specifically targeted at pregnant and parenting women with substance abuse issues, often women that are in or about to be sent to jail. Their success rates are quite heartening, far above national averages for recovery programs.

Many children will have a better childhood because their mothers were offered a chance to get better, to learn life skills and parenting skills, rather than just do their jail time.
I must be jaded, then. My mother was offered a similar chance, several times. As was my father. It didn't change anything.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:22 PM   #13
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In an ideal world, if some one broke a law, all it would take is a hand slap and a lecture. But that is not how it works. People must be held accountable for their actions. The majority of the people behind bars knew what they were doing was wrong and the consequences of their actions. Consequences that would affect them AND their families. They still CHOSE to go through with their actions. THEY are solely responsible, not the system.
If we did not incarcerate people just because they had families, what would stop them from repeatedly breaking laws?
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Kaci

My DH is part of that different system. His program is specifically targeted at pregnant and parenting women with substance abuse issues, often women that are in or about to be sent to jail. Their success rates are quite heartening, far above national averages for recovery programs.

Many children will have a better childhood because their mothers were offered a chance to get better, to learn life skills and parenting skills, rather than just do their jail time.
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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Old 10-25-2012, 04:31 PM   #15
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Re: criminal justice

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Don't forget how many children ARE being protected by having a parent in prison. Protected from being beaten or neglected. Protected from having daddy steal the grocery money to get a fix and going hungry. Protected from the company some unlawful members of society keep. Protected from situations that caused the parent to go to jail. Protected from a crappy parent. Been there, done that. And I preferred the safety of no parent over the abuse of a present one.

And honestly, if they don't follow the major laws, do you really believe they would be paying child support if they were out? The majority wouldn't. If they're in for the long haul, they did some majorly bad things. And people on those paths don't usually care about anything but their own self.

Is it sad? Of course. But if the option is daddy on the corner selling drugs, bringing home gang buddies, and roughing up mama or him not being there, the kid is far better off without him or that

ETA: It isn't the system punishing the family. It's the parent punishing the family. If they didn't do the things that got them locked up, the system wouldn't come knocking on their door. The system is warped, I'll give you that. But the fault still lies with the parent. It isn't the system's job to provide for the families or make that an option when they're locked up. It's the parent's job to make sure that is done. And if that means not breaking the law, they need to not do it.

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I 100% agree. My parents were also drug addicts in and out of rehab/jail/prison, you name it. My father has been incarcerated almost my entire life. Quite honestly I am glad, because he was a danger to himself and us the few times he was out in the real world. Him being incarcerated was not the fault of the system, it was his fault. He made the decision to do the things he did and he had to live with the consequences.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnimalHouse

Excellent post. My parents were drug addicts. When they had custody of us, we were neglected, abused. We had no food, no clothes, no one to care if we were taken care of. To think a different system would make criminal parents change their ways because of their kids makes no sense to me, as someone who has lived through that.
First,

and 2nd I have been watching this play out in my family for years. I have seen my cousin leave his children multiple times b/c he couldnt get his head out of his ***. The final straw happened a few yrs back when he and his wife were busted once again with drugs and stolen property. My aunt and uncle took the children in. These children were so negelected they(doctors and therapist, not just aunt and uncle!) actually thought the middle child was mentally disabled. My cousin and his loser wife had multiple chances to get their act together and refused. I am thankfully the system didnt turn them lose once again to cause even more damage to these kids and even more thankful my aunt and uncle were willingly to raise them for the next 10+ yrs.

Yes, its terrible that the entire family must deal with the consequences of what the parent/s have choosen to do. I dont think the answer is in finding a way to allow the criminal to particpate in the family but maybe more of 'what can we do to support the ones the criminal left behind'. There has to be laws and consequences-plain and simple- so imhumbleo energy should be spent on helping the law abiding members of the family.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #17
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Re: criminal justice

I know that many criminal parents are criminal in other ways too - criminally neglectful, criminally abusive, a danger to themselves and their families. I don't think the criminal justice system can make parents change their ways or become better parents.

The point I'm trying to make isn't that parents ought to be with their children in all circumstances, no matter what. The point is that as a society we ought to be looking after our children who are vulnerable.

We have created a system that has effects beyond those it is acknowledged to have. Effects that are unfair and damaging. We should be able to design a better system, and we can only do that if we have conversations about what happens to people who experience it.

Telling a parent that they shouldn't have broken the law does nothing for the kid.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jam's mum
I know that many criminal parents are criminal in other ways too - criminally neglectful, criminally abusive, a danger to themselves and their families. I don't think the criminal justice system can make parents change their ways or become better parents.

The point I'm trying to make isn't that parents ought to be with their children in all circumstances, no matter what. The point is that as a society we ought to be looking after our children who are vulnerable.

We have created a system that has effects beyond those it is acknowledged to have. Effects that are unfair and damaging. We should be able to design a better system, and we can only do that if we have conversations about what happens to people who experience it.

Telling a parent that they shouldn't have broken the law does nothing for the kid.
I disagree. It reinforces the fact that if you follow in daddy's foot steps, you may very well end up in prison like him.
It would be nice if the government could step in and support these families while daddy is away, but at what price? The funding has to come from somewhere. And how many struggling people do you think would take advantage and purposely get sent away, just to make sure there is food on the table for family at home?
Not to sound heartless, I really do feel for the innocent victims left behind to fend for themselves. But, there are so many upstanding citizens that are facing the same problems with no assistance.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:28 PM   #19
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I don't have any statistics but I bet lots of children of incarcerated parents are receiving government aid equal to or probably greater than what the criminal parent would have contributed anyways to the child even if they were out in the streets.
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.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:01 PM   #20
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Re: criminal justice

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I think the best way to avoid the family being punished is for the offender to stop breaking the law.

I grew up in foster homes, with both of parents in and out of jail/rehab. It isn't the justice system's fault that I had a crappy childhood. The fault lies solely with my parents. They weren't breaking the law for a "noble" cause (stealing clothes to clothe us, stealing food to feed us, etc).
This.

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Originally Posted by Hillargh View Post
Don't forget how many children ARE being protected by having a parent in prison. Protected from being beaten or neglected. Protected from having daddy steal the grocery money to get a fix and going hungry. Protected from the company some unlawful members of society keep. Protected from situations that caused the parent to go to jail. Protected from a crappy parent. Been there, done that. And I preferred the safety of no parent over the abuse of a present one.

And honestly, if they don't follow the major laws, do you really believe they would be paying child support if they were out? The majority wouldn't. If they're in for the long haul, they did some majorly bad things. And people on those paths don't usually care about anything but their own self.

Is it sad? Of course. But if the option is daddy on the corner selling drugs, bringing home gang buddies, and roughing up mama or him not being there, the kid is far better off without him or that

ETA: It isn't the system punishing the family. It's the parent punishing the family. If they didn't do the things that got them locked up, the system wouldn't come knocking on their door. The system is warped, I'll give you that. But the fault still lies with the parent. It isn't the system's job to provide for the families or make that an option when they're locked up. It's the parent's job to make sure that is done. And if that means not breaking the law, they need to not do it.

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And this.

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.
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