Tuesday, 15 February 2011
He is now 14, born 11/14/1996.
He has Bipolar, ADHD, ODD, Anxiety, and learning disabilities. He ended up in the juvenile probation system at age 12, wrongfully from an incident that stemmed right after school. This was May 2009.
I had moved me and my 4 children to a better neighborhood, to have a chance at better education. This was a rich white neighborhood. School was good. Evan had to be bussed over 4 miles, because he required a different school to accommodate his learning needs. He did quite well over all, most of the year. The school was at that time required to make sure the students in that learning support classroom that they got on the bus, esp. when that was not his assigned school, etc.
Evan and his co-defendant/friend from the same learning support classroom, Andre Parker, no relation, did not go on bus and were not escorted like they were supposed to as was put in the Individual Education Plan (IEP), and walked out of the building and were headed to park near by. They were right by next school which was next door, where there was conflict with two other students from their middle school, Linglestown Elementary, and these two students were white.
The two white students were calling them niggers and harrassing them. Evan and Andre stood up for themselves against the racial slurs. One of the white boys was engaging and threatening his friend Andre, and attempted to hit him with his musical instrument. Words were exchanged...typical boy conflict. And since there was words, threats and attempts from the other, it led to Evan and Andre trying to stand up to them, and then Evan end up holding the one boys back pack, and his friend Andre went in boys pocket. Nothing was taken. Yet, in the end, both boys were arrested, and charged with Robbery. My son was charged with "Conspiracy to commit Robbery" a felony. In PA, for juveniles, even if NOTHING was taken, if there was conflict like that, and since my son "held" the back pack... that constitutes "robbery" and is "felony".
The school seemed to conduct a witch hunt and call students in for questioning to give more to detective/police. The statements of the 2 boys that were involved were conflicting! The way it went down and they were arrested was crazy. And the school failed to call me and the other parent, to inform us our children were missing and were not on the bus and were supposed to be escorted on bus. They didn't notify until right before call from police hour to hour and a half later.
The police finally called us and we had to go down to the police station, Lower Paxton Township, and they were fingerprinted, processed. They were trying to ask the boys be detained. Probation had to make that final call and since both boys were so young, probation told them to release them to us on "electronic monitoring". They immediately came to the house to place that on the boys.
We had a court date that wasn't until 2 months later regarding this matter, as it was complicated, and while this was all going on, the school was trying to get their statements and evidences on the boys and try to expel the boys! All of that is another legal issue in and of itself, in which I had an educational lawyer for.
The boys were also not allowed to return back to their school, which was not legal.
In Aug. 2009, after court, my son and his friend were placed on probation, and ordered 6 months of "Consent Decree", which means not on their record. The charges were dropped to "Theft" and "Simple assault" that is the only way you can drop a felony robbery charge, agree to those two. They were also ordered 50 hours of community service, and to complete the Juvenile Offender program.
My son completed his community service hours right away, but the probation officer he was assigned to, was transferring to another state, and failed to place my son in the court ordered "Young offender program" which was required before discharging from probation.
Since that probation failed, and then he had to be assigned a new one, there was no date available in time to complete it in the 6 months time frame, so we had to go to court again, to "extend" another 6 months so he can complete this, even though it was through no fault of his own.
Other factors were a fear and affected my son. With his struggles in school and dealing with a poverty stricken inner city school district, he was not getting the help he needed, and the laws were not being adhered to there, and those can affect violations with probation. I was combatting those at the same time so my son wouldn't be stuck in that system. Fight after fight.
I had had meetings with educational lawyer and we had attempted to move Evan from failure in the one classroom and not getting proper help according to laws. We did all efforts for his rights and well-being, as well as trying to help keep him out or free him as soon as possible from the corrupt juvenile probation system.
He suffers from his mood swings and frustrates from school and other factors. I had to deal and fight the state and county system attempting to get him the right help. I was constantly getting the run around and failures.
My son started getting peer pressure dealing with a few wilder boys and fast girls. He was going to be discharged from probation, but then started violating his 7pm curfew. I had him active with boxing and a positive coach trying to mentor him. I tried to keep him focused and occupied. My son was having trouble with peers at school, and the struggles within.
We attempted to have a Family Group Conference (FGC) that tried to help him have things more set in stone to help him, and at this time, all resources are supposed to be told and provided to the family to help the child.
The plan seemed to work ok, but my son still struggled at this old school, this was prior to the move, and the peers, and his mood swings, self esteem, at times be very angry, frustrated, or depressed, etc. He then was trying to be with the wrong crowd and not care about his self, even though freedom from this juvenile system was right there. He couldn't see it. He gave up. He was told things that he couldnt read and how bad he was, and all types of negative things by teachers and others that were supposed to be people who he trusted, and he started to believe and say "I don't care. They gonna set me up at school. They know I'm on probation. It doesnt matter. They don't care. They say stuff all the time..." He was upset all the time, coming home like that. He would be very moody and give up. Then he would take off from curfew. He was even set up at the old school, where the principal tried to enforce something that he didn't do, but a peer he associated himself with, and tried to get parents to get Evan charges for "harrassment" since he was probation. We had a lawyer who cared, and this was dismissed, it was bogus. These are examples of the corruption and failures in the school, that cooperate with the corruption of the children in the juvenile system. They work hand in hand and untruths are told and powers are abused here to see the children stuck in the system.
My son had to go to the detention center, had a hearing and was released. NO help was offered. I asked for help. None was given, just released. Issues were not being addressed, the programs and help that are available or were available to me were not offered or given. So, it was like giving me and my son no tools and setting us up for failure.
He then got in trouble again, arrested for just violating his curfew. And then was released, with no programs, no help, especially the therapy that has been an issue and need.
He had been arrested for these stupid reasons four times. He was then left detained 2 wks and we went to court in front of the Judge Sept. 16, 2010, and the Judge looked over the issues and said things were simple, and he did good, and was due to be off, and then started messing up with curfew and all. Also tried smoking weed while out violating curfew with the peers he followed. This Judge, as strict as he is, realized my son's age, and failures and was the first one to attempt to give him more "treatment" and "programs". He was released, despite what probation wanted and recommended. They were recommended remand and placement to juvenile detention center.
Judge Cherry released my son home to me, as I fight for him, and we had failures, and ordered him programs and placed him on "suspended committment", which is like a parole for juveniles here. He was ordered to have a psychiatric eval/which no one wanted to do, pay for, insurance battles, so he placed it in the court order to attempt to get it done easier. He ordered him to the Pro-A drug recovery support group, which my son proactively connected to and asked for while he was detained the 2 wks. He ordered working with the mentors at the Boys and Girls Club. He ordered NRT/Abraxas program, which is a great program to help learn new skills and thinking about his choices, etc. He also ordered MST, which was multi-systemic therapy. Well, everyone was under the impression that MST was intense indivual therapy which is what he needed, and it wasn't. It was a duplication of services, to redirect, change peers, occupy, etc. So after his release, everyone met, and probation did allow immediate early discharge from that program. He also was ordered GPS monitoring and drug testing.
My son did ALL of these requirements with no violations until December before the holiday. NO violations. He did great. No drugs, nothing. But, my son also got very sick end of November, and was bed ridden, etc. He kept staying sick, vomiting and end up missing nearly the whole month. He lost 10 pounds in 2 wks and even the medical doctor stated that the mental health was also a contributing factor.
The issue with the mental health, was that his father is a retired Navy officer, and his Navy miltiary insurance, Tricare Prime is primary, and my state's medicaid secondary. There was insurance battles. The sad part, the MST service is two tier's higher than individual/etc. They were paying for that, but refused to pay for this one on one therapy that my son needed. Yet, in my area, there are no providers that will accept that military insurance, nor will anyone bill, etc. So it should have been automatic to accept and pay for it via our state medicaid. My son nearly did 3 1/2 months violation free, and close to discharge without the necessary mental health he needed.
When he got really sick, he was not able to attend required groups, but was excused medically from the doctor, and was bed ridden, vomitting, etc. He lost his structure and routine he had all the months prior.
His step brother lives in the housing projects not too far from my house, and before Christmas vacation, the probation officer told my son he was now no longer to be out there. My son freaked out and said, "that's my brother...you can't keep me from my brother..." He was upset, and hurt. He was due to discharge off the main program Jan. 16th, with possible 2 wk delay due to illness, and then could be discharged from probation immediately after.
My son took that to heart about not being to be out there, when she knew that they were close, etc. He was emotional, etc. It was Christmas vacation and he was due to be checked for clearance to return back to school with a clean bill of health Jan. 3, and on vacation he was moody, enraged, sad, etc. He snuck out and went to see his brother and violated and would say "I don't care. She can't keep me from my brother!" He then gave up and didn't see the whole picture and the finish line again. He quit and was down and said, "they can take me".
We went to doctor for clearance on Jan. 3rd, 2011, and he got cleared to return and the medical doctor stressed that he needs the mental health helping him and I explained the insurance battle. He said that has been part of the problem. He returned to school on Jan. 4th and tried to have a positive attitude, wanting to get back on track with routine, groups, etc. He did ok, but would be very moody, struggling from stress from school, learning issues, etc. He attended his groups. That same work there was funeral from a person who was like family who was shot and killed at age of 22 that we were close to. We attended the funeral, and Evan still attended the required group that afternoon. He had curfew, did okay but was very sad and moody. Apparently he smoked and was tested positive, first relapse in all that time. After that, his mood was up and down and more depressed. The following week he was depressed and not wanting to go to school. PO came by that Wed and told him he needs to be in school tomorrow or he would be arrested, that is violation. My son was emotional, down and stayed in bed, and around 10am that Thurs, Jan. 12, 2011 my son was arrested for not going to school.
He was detained and we had detention hearing Fri., Jan. 13, 2011. He was released with a change in school, since that was affecting him and that Master stated with his young age, and mental not being addressed, and he needed that. He ordered the school that is structured, and is same people who worked with him for Abraxas. School is 8 to 2p, and wears uniforms and what not. He also ordered the "Uplift" program to help him.
My son did good 9 days and really liked the small structured school away from the peer pressure,etc. Unfortunately he was still fresh returning to getting on track with his medications, after being sick so long, and his trouble with peer refusal skills and he attempted to say no to a peer that he couldn't go anywhere and snuck out his window to follow this peer. And that peer and he went to the "south side" where he was not allowed to go, and it ended up in a new charge, "conspiracy to commit robbery" a felony. He was arrested Jan. 26, 2011, and detained, and statement had to be given at police station.
The other boy knew an older boy who had developmental issues and worked for cab company parking cars, and this older boy gave the friend of my son Evan the keys as he was intimidated by him, and the boy then ran and then my son and the boy he was with ran...and they were arrested.
My son was not part of it, and the other boy stated as such, but he was there, on scene, 30 to 40 feet away.
They were detained, hearing was held Fri., Jan. 28th, and he was kept detained. Due to his overall good behavior and non danger/risk factor, he was "shelter" eligible, and allowed to be kept close to him in this less restrictive setting, but PO lied and she even called me and stated such, but said something different at the hearing. The Master remanded him to "detention" and he was sent an hour and a half away.
This facility is very strict, similar to adult state system. His court date was Feb. 7th. At this court date, because of "felony" and how rules are, charges were dropped to "theft" in m1 due to it being keys to car, and "simple assault", and he was ordered to placement and taken the next day, Feb. 8th, and the placement is 4 1/2 hours away.
I was not allowed to say goodbye.
I spoke to my son and the treatment coordinator for the facility and she stated on my son's records it states "conduct disorder" and "disruptive behavior" disorder, and she stated it makes a huge difference in what his actual diagnoses are. That makes a difference in how a judge views a child and programs available, etc. Also, with my son's current diagnoses, he can be in less restrictive, and it be billed majority under state mental health, for Residential Treatment Facility (RTF). I have to fax the true diagnoses, since that will also impact his success and ultimately his ability to be discharged, return home and be free from the system. I also have her email and have to email 25 page private school psychological report, from when he first was wronged and placed in the system at the other school district, in which we battled and also received a $5000 settlement and we left and moved the district back to the city. The school district was ordered to pay for this private school psychologist.
Anyhow... so much to tell, so much wrong, and so many systems contributing. He is set in a 9 to 12 month program and if we didn't have the lawyer help him, who got him a court ordered 6 month review in front of the judge, he would be there minimum 9 months before review. All factors have to be successful and his correct diagnoses do contribute to his ability to be successful and ultimately be discharged and free from the system.
His biological father never wanted him, wasn't in the life. Abandoned issues, and people who try to be in his life, they abandon him, he has a lot of trust issues in this regards.
Elizabeth Sessions -
Mother and Advocate of
Posted by Irishgreeneyes at 05:35