Saturday, October 3, 2009

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Oldest son and I just returned from some sort of class that was required by the county because of his arrest. I find it interesting that when my son was released from the detention center that he/we now have to do the following:

-- he is on house arrest and required to check in with a probation officer at least once a week
-- he must take a drug test at least once a month
-- he is on an ankle monitoring system
-- we had to attend this class regarding the juvenile criminal justice system and how it chews you up and spits you out (No shit, Sherlock)
-- I had to essentially sign away my rights as a parent
-- he's been expelled from public school and must attend school at the juvenile justice center, which is populated mostly by illiterate young youths. My son's education is suffering severely because he cannot learn at his own level of intelligence; he has to learn at the level of those students that can't read.
-- we must appear before a judge approximately every 3-4 weeks
-- he can't use a cell phone
-- he can't get on the internet without an adult present

Why do I feel he/we are already being punished for a crime he's not been convicted of? Why do I get the distinct feeling that the District Judge (who handles juvenile cases) already believes my son guilty? (I get that impression every time we go before him because he treats my son differently than the kids that actually got caught in the act of a crime: he gets visibly angry.) Everything is circumstantial with my son's case.

I've quickly learned to despise our justice system -- I thought this was the type of thing we originally left the Continent to avoid?

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