after advice re 16yr old son and possible prison sentance for christmas(18 Posts)
ds is 16 he has been a handfull for a long time. he regularly uses cannabis and due to his behavior becoming out of control and him smashing things up at home we decided in the summer that he had to leave home. he went to live is a supported living hostel. while there his substance misuse got worse and involved m cat, legal high and Valium. we tried to support him as much as we could. it all came to a head one day when he called for money as he didnt have any food. we refused to give him money so his dad took him down some food. he wasnt happy about this and started shouting at hubby that we didnt help and he wanted to be left alone. it ended up in him threatening hubby with a knife. hubby was unaware of this as had got back in the car to leave, it was caught on cct and police phoned by staff at the hostel.
since then ds got kicked out of hostel and spent some time at a friends, he got very low stopped all other drugs than cannabis. he was very upset a lot and sorry for what he had done, he agreed he needed help and wanted to stop the cannabis but felt he couldnt where he was, so we agreed he could come back home. things with him improved at first, he seen a CPN from CAMHS, he started a training course, stayed in and didnt go out and seems to be making a effort. however he only seen the CPN once and told her he didnt want to see her again, he got kicked off the training course and is out all the time refusing to be grounded for kicking off the other day. we believe he is smoking cannabis again although he denies it.
well he was in court yesterday for the knife incident, the charge carries a minimum 4 mts in prison, unless it can be shown that it will not be in his best interests basically, so its adjourned for a full report on ds to be done and to return to court on the 22nd for sentencing. ds does not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the situation thinking he wont go to prison.
the report to be written is to try and show them reason not to send him, he doesnt seem to realize that and kicked off last night and disappeared. i let him off that as yesterday was very stressful and he had a lot to process, today however he is just the same.
as his parents they want our input into this report and i dont know what to do for the best, do i just be brutally honest and tell he wont cooperate with us,he wont follow house rules and has fought with his older brother recently picking up a knife. do i tell them he is 1 step away form being kicked out again due to his behavior and the impact its having on us and his siblings.i feel this honesty may get him spending Christmas in prison. so far all he has going on his side is an interview with another training provider tomorrow.
i really dont know what to do.will prison do him some god it will it just make things worse?
Apart from having teens of my own, I'm not an expert foxy , but your situation sounds desperate and I hope by bumping you might get some advice.
I'm afraid you will also get a lot of people
with toddlers telling you to abandon your ds and advocating tough love.
FWIW I don't think that prison will help your ds at all. Statisitcs show that prison tends to increase criminal activity by first timers and can introduce a whole new level of offending and drug use. (Prisons are not drug free at ALL but there tends to be more easy access to heroin than cannabis.) So for that reason I'd do everything to keep my ds out of prison.
However I also think that lying for your ds on the report is not going to help him either. He will learn that he doesn't have to take responsibility for his actions and nothing is that serious.
So, typical wishy washy answer, I'd go the middle road. Only tell the truth on the report but emphasise the positive as much as you possibly can. Cover the main incidents but explain if ds has done anything to demonstrate regret or make amends. If you can get any input from ds himself, ask him what he thinks you should say. e.g. Is he optimisitic about the new work placement? Is he following some of your house rules sometimes ? Is he cooperating ever at all? He says he's not smoking again. Can you take that at face value?
Good luck OP
I understand that at 16 he'd go to a youth offenders institution where they actually do try hard to get the kids to get some skills, straighten up & not accept a future of crime. They would also tackle his drug abuse which it sounds like is driving most of this awful behaviour (pot makes some people violent & paranoid).
I'm sorry I can't say anything more helpful. I would tell the truth if I were you. For the same of your other children.
thanks for replying x
hes only applying for a new training placement as i told him he has to, that is financially motivated as if he is not doing anything we stop getting tax credits for him and he also gets an allowance from the training providers of £30 a week.
i suppose you could say he followed the rules on that on but i think thats more so he can get his money. he wont help in the house, something he was always very good at. im struggling with housework at the mo and am off work due to the stress making my fibroymalgia play up.
and i did take it a face value for a while but his behavior says different.
my oldest has said he doesnt like coming home form uni, my dd (12) is getting upset by his behaviour and attitude towards me and dh. my 18 yr old who was always closest to ds16 cant stand to be around him.
i really dont know what to do. i dont want to give up on him and worry prison will teach him worse stuff. ive explained the situation to him but he just doesnt seem to understand how serious it is as just says he wont go to prison. as far as i can understand prison is where he will be going unless the report can justify not sending him.
it seems a bit helpless at the moment, maybe things will look brighter in the morning x
The drugs have made him into someone else.
My brother got clean from drugs only because he went to prison.
Best of luck
He won't go to prison but to a young offenders and personally ( I have no toddlers, one adult and one 16 yr old if I need the credentials ) I would stick to the bare bones for the report.. He won't thank you for it and will feel a deep sense of betrayal for a long time afterwards but it just 'might' give him the focus he needs to straighten out. It's not all about being locked in a cell all day, they will fill his day up.
Knife shit needs to be nipped in the bud NOW. Or he may find himself doing a long stretch as an adult.
He's pulled a knife on your husband and your son. You not only should think about what's best for him, but for the safety of your family.
I am so sorry that you're going through this.
he doesn't really remember the incident with threatening his dad, the drugs he was on at the time made him completely paranoid. he already blames us for him going to court over this although it was workers at the hostel that reported it.
hes had temper problems since he was little and we never got any help with him despite me asking loads of times.
thanks for your reply's x
God, OP, how upsetting.
I would find it very worrying that he "has fought with his older brother recently picking up a knife." and has little control when he is angered / using drugs.
I can't offer any advice, but am very sorry you are going through this.
Thanks all x.
Well it went better than expected the report I don't think have the judge reason not to send him to prison and the offence carried a mandatory prison sentence, but he was very through and noticed a point that no one else had picked up on and that was that his dad was in a car with Windows open when ds produced the knife so wasn't in danger of harm, with the car being in the way. This is am important part as the charge was possetion of a bladed article and intent to cause physical harm, well he caould cause the harm with a car door between them, so it was changed to having a knife in a public place. He got a 9 month referral order to work with youth offending service and is home for Christmas. I am pleased I just hope he doesn't view it as getting away with and that he works with yos and improves things x
Only a stranger on the Internet very very far away....but thinking of you and your ds and hoping it is something you get through together.
And hurray for the thorough judge
foxy6 IME a referral order can be a really positive thing if he is prepared to take the opportunities and help that are offered to him. I have been really impressed with our local YO team.
Wishing you a peaceful Christmas.
I ment to say the window was closed not open x
Thanks xx and yes pleased for a through judge, he was very nice and also said I won't need to pay court costs as I have other children and it's just before Christmas. I have to pay some costs but not all, which I'm very please about as I've been off work these last two month due to a flare up of my fibromyalgia caused by stress.
Ds is very lucky
Good news for you and your son. My ds was caught with a ' sharp' as the police refur to it- and also had to work with a youth offending service- he was fantastic ( btw my ds was also taking / found with drugs and we had been through hell and back with him) the officer, Dan made such a difference, my ds had to do as Dan told him as otherwise it ment he could go to prison. He knew exactly what to say to my ds to get his attention ( although my ds would tell me how stupid he was). My ds calmed down and broke his ties with his ' friends' . He got in touch with his old friends ( a better influence) and eventually got a job, which he has had for over 4 months and is now planning to go to uni - so I hope you get a good officer who can reach out to your ds.
Hope you've had a restful Christmas x
Foxy6 - I was just coming back to Mumsnet for advice on my teen and binge drinking...when I saw your post.
I have huge respect for you and your family for what you have been through. It must be heart wrenching.
It sounds like you are doing all the right things. You are sticking to your values, but also leaving room for him to make positive choices. I think the outcome was the best it could have been in your circumstances.
Take good care. Sending you strength to get through the storm. And the very best wishes for easier time ahead
thanks all, hopefully things will get better thsi time , but there is still a long road ahead xx
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