Friday, April 23, 2010

Lawyers, lies, learning processes, and life goes on!

Yesterday, she signed on her case - and I found out her public defender had misrepresented some things to her, but I guess that's part of the consequences.

I think lawyers should have to tell the truth…. Sort of like doctors take an oath to “do no harm”, lawyers should be compelled to honestly and fully disclose the consequences of the sentences their clients are being offered. (It has nothing to do with whether it is a public defender or a retained private lawyer.)

Contrary to what her lawyer told her, she Will Not be able to get any training towards getting better employment upon her release. She may not see a counselor or mental health professional with prescribing capabilities, unless she’s able to request one during intake, or voices suicide intent. Apparently, for seven or eight months, unless she is lucky enough to score a job, she gets to “rot on the rack.”

His misrepresentation of the facts pissed me off immensely. How many people get to this point, realize they are facing prison, and are told by their lawyers (whether jaded public defender or retained lawyer who is less than honest for whatever reasons) that they will have this benefit or that benefit, and in reality, will find out too late, they will just get to “rot”.

Not that my daughter couldn’t have been lying about her intentions, but she told me repeatedly that she was signing on her deal and taking prison rather than her other options, because after a very intense seven months or so, she would emerge with a skill that would help her make decent money (even as a felon) LEGALLY. She kept saying “I have to turn this around; I have to use this time to get ready to do this RIGHT.” She stated she was trying to look at the positives and that she would have assistance through her parole office getting placed in a job with her new certification, whatever that certification might be.

Not. Several sources have told me this is not the case. One source was a young lady friend of hers who just got released last month for the exact same charges/sentence that my daughter is facing. She said I didn’t want to know what she had to do to get the job, but she finally scored a job working the docks at 4 AM, loading the food trucks, in the sleet, rain, and freezing cold, but hey, it helped the time pass. But taking a class was not an option.

This friend said her lawyer (that her mom retained) gave her the same song and dance about educational opportunities and job placement assistance when she got out…. Not true.

How do we expect the ones who have reached this point to decide to turn towards a life of rigorous honesty and integrity in their affairs, if they are lied to by the very authorities they are supposed to look to as examples of how to live in our society?

Bottom line, I know that this comes under the heading of Consequences.

If she had not participated in criminal activity, she would not be in this particular position where someone could lie to her about her future. Cold, but true.

I wanted to deck her lawyer and hold my daughter tight.

I spent a good portion of the day checking the web site to see when the "minutes" of her case pop up.... CAN WE SAY CODEPENDENT?

As expected, it came up that she was sentenced to 16 months. That will be halved and time already served will be applied. She should get out no later than early December.

She called last night. She should be transferred up there in two weeks. She said after she gets through the first 60-90 days of “hell” in the receiving yard, and makes it “over the wall”, she will be able to explore opportunities that shorten her sentence a bit, with an inside drug program. That much I was able to verify, as it is described in the inmate reception manual I downloaded for her facility. I also found a web site for the families of inmates that had a lot of information about what she could expect.

She also knows her lawyer gave her incorrect information. She was pretty resigned about that. Apparently there are still positives in her mind, about state prison and parole, versus a county year with extended expensive probation costs, etc. Prison is over months sooner, parole is easier and cheaper, and there will be no "no contact" order on she and Le Boyfriend when they get done with prison. They decided that was the better option for them. Scares the poop out of me, but hey, it's her/their decisions to make.

She sounded good. She asked that I only write once a week so that she won’t miss us so much. She is already in that mindset, that place she goes mentally, where she just “does her time.” She knows the receiving yard is going to be the most miserable experience of her life, and she says she has talked to dozens of girls in jail who are going back again, who have told her what to expect. She says it’s no big deal, she’ll get through it, and then after she’s over the wall, things will be a little easier. And by the time she’s over the wall, she’s really on the downhill portion towards her release date.

She spoke with her dad after that, and they went at it over the phone, for a while. Whatever. I handle my conversations with her one way, he handles his another. Not my concern. She's going to call one more time before she goes up, and then we'll be on letters only while she is there, because the phone calls are rediculously expensive. That sure seems to punish the families, which just doesn't seem right. I mentioned I'd accept a call around her birthday, and if necessary, right before she gets released so that we can finalize where to meet her.

Now. It’s final. I’m surprisingly emotional, but I’m not giving myself permission to wallow in it. I’m thinking about going to go weed the borders in the front yard!

I may or may not follow through on that! *grin*

This weekend, I’m meeting with a friend to learn a new quilting technique and plan out a new quilt we are making. We have two very challenging quilts planned for next year, but we may cheat and start a few blocks early!

Never give up hope!


  1. Oh, I won't even get started on how I feel the system has failed in so many ways. Just know that I am thinking of you and DD2, sending you light and prayers! Now that you both know what is, you will accept and move forward, but I know this is hard for you and that makes me sad. (((HUGS)))

  2. That hardest part of our childrens choices for me, is that I too have to come to terms and live with them, for good or bad.

    Hang in there.

  3. I don't think you're surprisingly emotional - how in the world are you not supposed to be emotional??? It doesn't matter what she may have done, she is still your daughter. My gosh, I wish I could give you a big hug!!!
    It's good that you are trying your best to weed the borders and quilt with a friend... and never give up hope!
    Who knows how God will work? I have a friend with a wonderful ministry helping women when they get out of prison (Christian Inn Ministries) maybe DD2 will end up helping others, and she won't need extra courses to learn how! Who knows? But I will continue to pray for her as I am sure so many others are.
    Sending love & ((hugs)) to you and DH.

  4. I never had to send B off to jail or to prison (miraculously), so I can't comment on whether the attorney is lying (maybe her attorney truly believes that is how the system works...lots of people, including professionals are mislead).

    What is most important, I think, is that you will know where she is; she is relatively safe; and if she wants to make the most out of this, she can. Whether she accepts God during her stay, starts to find herself and decide that she wants to help others, figure out how to learn a trade, etc. It will be up to her and she can make something out of this, if she wants to.

    Your strength and emotion are truly a blessing. I continue to think you are an amazing parent and how you have handled this situation is beyond what I can even imagine. And the pictures of your quilts (that I've seen) are beautiful! :) Hang in there; and you remain in my prayers.

  5. I know what it feels like to have your child in jail...not good. But, as Lisa said, you know where she is and this time may be different. My son is doing surprisingly well since his release from jail/lockdown rehab, so I believe it can help some people. It also depends on many other factors also, as you know. I will continue to pray for you and your daughter!

  6. I second what Lisa said. I hope you sleep a little better while she is in jail. I have seen a few people decide after one or a few times in jail that they will not return. It inspires them to clean up. I pray that she be one of those people.

    God Bless you,

  7. Oh, Sweetie. I have been having computer issues all day and saw this and thought @#$* !!!! when I read it. Its not right. Yes, she did do the crime that got her there, but its not fair that they led her to believe she'd get training. It sounds like she's taking it really well considering.

    Anthony and "Kelly" are planning to get married ASAP (while he's in jail) so it will abolish their no contact order. No comment from me on that other than, UGH!

    Keep taking care of you...


  8. I guess were different LOL. I was SOOOO hoping my daughter would get prison after she got arrested earlier this year.

    Instead, for child endangerment for the 3 year old, leaving the baby in the middle of the street at 10 pm at night in a stroller while the idiot was passed out in a yard...

    she got one year supervised probation, $150 fine and random drug testing and cooperate with Child Protective Services.


    Honestly? I consider my child a criminal. Using heroin is a criminal activity. I think we should lock them up. They would do so much less damage to themselves and to us.

    but, I am in the huge minority. I am ....

    an irrational old bitch with rage issues. LOL

  9. I think I need to take up quilting. It is so clear that you take such joy in the process and not just the product. I need something to consume my mind like that.

  10. I'm so sorry she won't get the training she expect. That seems a tough blow.
    I hope you'll get a call on YOUR birthday as well as hers. :)

  11. Thanks for giving us the details of your daughter's incarceration saga. It's soooo sad - and the punitive approach to treating drug addiction just doesn't seem fair. In retrospect, could you offer any advice for parents of/addicts facing a jail term in regards to (mis)information given them? I'm sure that very soon, my daughter will commit a serious crime and end up in prison. As the previous comments noted - at least you know where she is when she's in jail/prison. Take care of yourself, and keep quilting!