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Ethical Treatment for All Youth

Email: etay@ethicaltreatment.org

About the author

As told by his mother

Date: 12/03/04

Eleven months ago today our son left the court room and has never been home again. Twenty-six days ago they took him to a psychiatric hospital, and he has not been heard of since. They will not let us talk to him; they will not tell us how he is. Our pain and grief is becoming more than we can bear even through one more day.

We had a family discussion last night. Our daughter, 6, stated, "They can't just make him stay away from us. He missed our birthdays and Thanksgiving. What about Christmas? Let's go there." She was expressing what we are all feeling.

In our state, a man holding the office of judge can just speak the words and

  • Your child is isolated from you,
  • You and your child cannot talk to each other,
  • You do not have the right to know how your child is doing or if he is OK,
  • You have nothing to say about what happens to him, about medical or psychiatric treatment or medications,
  • A child does not have the right to contact his family, nor anyone else if something is wrong or if he is just terribly homesick.

What major reason would you think would be needed for a judge to be able to do such a drastic thing to a family? Child abuse? No. Dysfunctional Family? No. Violence on the part of the child or the family? No. Child repeatedly in trouble? No.

The child did something wrong when he was barely 14 years old, over two years ago! Wrong--yes, but a stupid thing that kids do. Not vicious, not violent, just wrong and stupid. He admitted what he did with much remorse, and accepted harsh punishment from the state without complaint.

However, he paid with 10 months of his life locked up, then was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital, ordered a ward of the state, forbidden to have any contact with his family.

About six months ago a neighborhood boy told our 13 year old daughter, "They said they are going to send him away until he is 21". I wrote a note to the prosecuting attorney and asked him if someone in the court system had made that statement. He did not respond. It was not until a few months later that we found out who 'They' was.

'They' was the ball coach of all of the community kids, including the other child involved in the incident, (referred to as the victim). This same coach was the prosecuting attorney in the case against our son. This same coach/prosecuting attorney was, coincidentally, running for re-election. (This process began in January, 2004, even though the incident had occurred a year and a half before, with no other incidents.)

We went all that time, struggling, not having any idea what we were up against. But the judge knew. The court appointed attorney for our son knew. The probation officer knew. The entire neighborhood, and ball teams and parents knew.

Even now that we do know, it doesn't matter what we say, what documentation we have, who we tell, the judge said it--that settles it!

Date: 12/04/04

I just understood something! About mid October, 2004, in my desperate search for an attorney to file the appeal for our son, I talked with an attorney in another part of the state. He said some things I did not understand until today.

He stated:

  1. "You could not be fighting this at a worse time--politically!"
  2. "No judge is going to dare to reverse that decision after what happened with [name deleted]!"

Today there was an article in our local paper that made it clear exactly what that meant! It explained:

  1. Why our son's situation was such a powerful, political tool for the prosecuting attorney.
  2. Why the judge would not make the call to allow our son to come home, even though it was clearly indicated that he did not need, and should not have, in-patient treatment at a psychiatric hospital.
  3. Why everyone we have pleaded with for help, has run the other way.
  4. Why, after supposedly working with our son's court appointed attorney to get our son home, with expert recomendations and statements that he should be home, the prosecuting attorney stated in court, in front of our son, my husband, and our 13 year old daughter, "If he was 18, he would be concidered a sexual predator now!" (This was on the day they had led us to believe he would be coming home after being locked up for six and one half months.) The Lawyer Diciplinary Board's reply to my complaint was, "That was his perrogative to say that." Remember, our son was barely 14 when this incident occured, wrong, yes, but not violent, not an attack, just stupid, wrong things kids do.

The court documents contain numerous, incorrect statements, He was not 15, and the other child was NEVER afraid of our son. (We would have to send him home after dark, many times, including right up to the time this incident came to light, a year after it happened.) We did tell our son's attorney that, but it was never addressed in court.

Someone needs, no, must look at what has happened here:

  1. This was a 14 year old kid, not an adult.
  2. There is no cycle.
  3. He is NOT and NEVER was, a 'sexual predator'.
  4. This child's situation has nothing to do with "The [name deleted] Incident".
  5. There is definitely a 'predator' involved in this situation, and it is not the kid. The predator would be the adult who has latched on to, and used the kid for his own needs.

Will "For The Sake Of The Kids", and our Justice Elect fight just as hard to protect our kids from predators within the system?

Date: 12/27/04

Christmas came and went and no word from our child. We thought surely they would allow him to call home for Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, however, we did receive in the mail, the state's response To Motion For Stay. It was a five page document in which I underlined and numbered 19 statements that were inaccurate, twisted, spun, and/or outright false. On a separate sheet I addressed each of them by number, including documents to substantiate what I was saying.

I am extremely careful not to say anything I cannot back up beyond a reasonable doubt. If any of the other parties involved were able to discredit even one thing I have said, all would be lost for our son.

But here is what is so frightening for us: Everything the prosecuting attorney states or writes on paper seems to be absolutely accepted as fact. To our knowledge, No one has ever questioned one thing he has said. No one has talked to us, questioned us, nor has anyone responded when we have pointed out the lies and the manipulation that has taken place in the county court system, even though we have undisputable documentation to show.

On the last page of this document, the prosecuting attorney stated, "The court should be aware that the order of the circuit court eliminating communication between the petitioner and his family was done at the request of the psychiatric hospital due to the interference by the petitioner's mother with authorities at the hospital".

Does this mean that if I had not questioned, strongly, loudly, and frequently, what I felt was not right on the part of the psychiatric hospital (repeated psychological testing on our son, without our knowledge, without authorization, only five weeks after our son had gone through complete psychological testing at The National Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, by Dr. Fred Berlin and Phyllis Burke, Psychologist, and giving complete opposite results and recommendations than these experts), that we would not have been isolated from our child all this time? Does this mean that if I stop questioning these things, we can see our son?

Is that legal? Is there no law in existence to make them stop doing this?

Submitted May 3, 2005