Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed
Everyone many many thanks. Today I met with a parole officer. First I have to say I was both impressed and unimpressed with her. When I told her I had decided against allwing him to live with us, she was glad. I asked her why - she said It's easier for me to keep an eye on him in a halfway house. So I asked her if it helped Rich. Her reply? I don't really care about that one way or the other. He either will or he won't (stay out of trouble) but it makes tracking him easier for me. When I explained my decision by telling her how he could con you she just replied "well, welcome to my world." So, the die is cast - he'll spend 3 months at a halfway house and sometime around the end of month two a counselor(s) and I will discuss things with Rich and decide when the program should end. 6 months is max and they have the option of yanking parole at any time (and he still faces a bit more than 5 years if revoked). I also discovered unlike probation, in Missouri, Parole is all or nothing. If you get revoked 1 day before parole ends you do ALL your prison time - the time "out" isn't counted. Just a curious sidenote for one who is unfamiliar with this process. Seems to me a parolee would have a helluva lot more inclination to stay clean. Rich has another incentive in that he has been kept close to home in a processing facility - I've heard it is much, much safer and easier than "The Walls", the main state prison in Jeff City where he'd likely be sent if revoked. To this day I'm not sure how far gone Rich is - as in heavily addicted to hardcore drugs. He was busted for having a half pound of marijuana, and 6 grams of cocaine, as well as open containers, in a pickup truck. The truck was his friends and both were passed out on the seat after attending a rock concert in Maryville, Mo. I've often thought, thank God they weren't able to stay awake long enough top try driving. They were also within so many feet of an elementary school and Rich didn't even fight the charges because they threatened with some special statute concerning that which could have brought as much as life. Since he was already living from friend to friend I had no idea he'd even been arrested until someone saw the trial posted in the Maryville paper and called me. By then the deal was about done anyway - he'd plead out and was sentenced. Thankfully they did deal with him in a mostly rehabilitory manner since - he's been going through all kinds of treatment programs and counseling and the staff counselor at the MoDoc Intake Center told me he is doing very well so far.
What will it take to trust him? You're right about years instead of months but I'll extend him enough to allow him to live here if he completes his three months, gets a job, keeps that job and stays clean and stays tested. As a father my first instinct is to try and "save" him but you are all right - he has to do that and I have to let him live with his choices every day and allow the consequences. The Bible says we are given no more than we can handle but I must say He knows exactly how far to push the limit.