Juvenile Detention System

Naturally, this is all applicable to my state/county, but let’s take a look at what’s been happening lately:

March 23 – detention hearing, juvenile is released from custody;
March 24 – juvenile dares parent to call DJO, parent does so and leaves a message;
March 24 – DJO returns call two hours later, leaving parent to wonder what would happen if this was an urgent matter, and DJO informs parent that no paperwork has yet been filed.

March 26 – parent calls DJO manager, as still has not received word as to who is the actual assigned DJO, and leaves message;
March 30 – rinse and repeat
March 31 – and yet again.

So let me understand this correctly: the judge orders that the juvenile obey all rules of the home, as well as all applicable laws. If the juvenile does not, the parents are to inform the DJO. Fine. Wonderful.

But WHO is the DJO? When do they call? What the heck are we supposed to do in the meantime?

Oh, say many anonymous individuals, this is trivial, this is nothing. So your kid doesn’t make his bed and his room looks like a pig sty, so what? So he breaks your rules and lies in bed all morning, stays up till all hours, doesn’t tell you where he is, and sneaks around on the Internet – big deal. He’s a kid.

Yeah, he’s a kid, under our authority and living in our house – which equates to following our rules. He’s a minor, so we are responsible for his legal issues and his moral character and his education. Oh, wait, there’s none of that, he was expelled, remember? And that GED? Yeah, he doesn’t seem too inclined to take care of that either.

After all, we’re not talking about a straight-A, honor roll, respectful, pleasant young adult here, I don’t care how tall he is and how, on rare occasions, he can make sense and be logical, mature, and responsible.

The system says it’s overworked; the caseload is too high, blah, blah, blah. Sorry, EVERYone has issues, work or home, that need to be dealt with. I’ve seen a lot of time-wasting on-the-job, in many areas. Government is not unique, in spite of their bad press.

My state is supposed to be a model for juvenile justice. I’m afraid that the do-gooder, bleeding heart liberals must be running the show here, as elsewhere. Sure, these are kids – but they aren’t children, they know what they’re doing, and they know it’s wrong. So, are we going to release them with no follow-up, except on paper? Looks good, right?

But what are parents supposed to do (besides pay the bill, which I have yet to straighten out)? Just let the kids alone, and hope for the best? Enforce the rules and structure and deal with the fallout? How? We’re supposed to call the DJO, the invisible, undocumented one who can’t answer the flippin’ phone!

Oh, and we’re supposed to have weekly counseling. What a joke. We all NEED counseling, because ONE member of the family can’t control his mouth. Yeah, okay. Whatever. But, really, the question is when? Next week? Next month?

Hmm, I’ll bet it will be after the “probation orientation” which is set for April 18th, almost four weeks after his release. This is where they teach the kids how to have a successful probationary period. A month after the fact.

Of course, this is the kid who, in a different state, was written up for disorderly conduct and, after EIGHT months, the prosecutor wanted to do deferred adjudication; that just means that if he stayed out of trouble for a few months, the case would be expunged. It had already been almost a year. Sheesh.

3 comments on “Juvenile Detention System

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