Monday, November 10, 2008

Twenty Days and Another Chapter Closes

When we have not heard from Mike in a day or so our first step is to check the online county jail roster, and since Mike already told me late last week that he needed to turn himself in, I was not surprised when I checked this morning and found his name on the list. In Mike-like fashion, he turned himself in at 10:30 PM on Sunday night, when he has known since at least Friday that he needed to show up at jail. I'm sure he figures he has nothing to lose; if law enforcement had run into him in the intervening they would simply arrest him, saving him the need to find a ride to jail.

As I suspected, the reason for his arrest was not because he was stayed out of the county overnight without consent of his parole officer. The charges as listed online are theft. Again, this is no surprise, because he has been involved in numerous theft charges in the past couple of years, including motor vehicles and theft by receiving stolen property. It appears that Mike has now expanded his retinue to include the theft of livestock. I'm not sure what is involved in that whole charge, but I'm sure it is an interesting story. Much more interesting than the story he was trying to spin with me on Friday about having to spend the weekend in jail because of an out-of-county overnight stay. The only thing truthful about his conversation with me Friday is that the arresting agency (which is also included online) is "community corrections," which means his parole officer.

Lying and manipulation are part of the whole-person package when dealing with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Our son has the disadvantage of also having a high IQ (not at all FASD individuals do), which means that he has just enough brilliance to charm and manipulate others and get himself into difficult situations. FASD is not his only diagnosis, so by the time you compute all the factors together it presents a rather dismal picture, indeed.

I could spend more than a paragraph articulating my opposition to alcohol consumption by pregnant woman (and, to be honest, alcohol consumption in general), but I will hold myself back for the moment. My irritation turns too quickly to disgust these days when I think of all the money spent and lives affected by the consumption of a substance so potentially lethal to so many in society. I will now bite my tongue lest you think me a Puritanical type (which I am most assuredly not); I have seen personally too many evidences of the tragic results of alcohol consumption to say nothing.

Now, once again, we will wait to see how the criminal justice system deals with our son. I was present at his last sentencing, so I heard with my own ears the dire warnings of the judge in question. He articulated clearly that Mike's time for leniency had run out, and that any violations of the conditions of his release would result in twenty-two months of prison time. Mike, of course, had an alternative explanation of his plans at that time. It was to get out of jail (which he did three weeks ago this morning) and work to pay off some of his thousands of dollars of restitution, stay clean and sober and out of legal trouble, then choose to "execute his time," which he was certain would be at the local level (not a state prison) because of the overcrowded prison situation. If he were to "execute" his time Mike speculated that he would be out within seven months and not have to leave the area. Now, however, he will have an additional criminal charge, so that might change the outcome. Who knows?

What I do know today is that the citizens of our community are once again safe from the criminal exploits of my son. And that both pains and relieves me.

1 comment:

Hopewell said...

"Our son has the disadvantage of also having a high IQ (not at all FASD individuals do), which means that he has just enough brilliance to charm and manipulate others and get himself into difficult situations." Amen! I see this almost every day with my boy.