Sunday, March 30, 2014

casual cruelty to children

Children suffer when a parent goes to prison but who would expect that the suffering can be worse when that parent is released from prison? After the parent has been away from home for years, the anticipated reunion is often prohibited, even when the child was not a victim of the parent's crime.

A man who was convicted of possession of child pornography, released to a halfway house to serve out the remaining few months of his sentence, is not allowed to see his children. He is not allowed to talk to them on the phone or to write to them.

He must be dangerous to them, one might think.

If he were a danger to his own children, why was he allowed to live at home between entering his plea and his sentencing? Why were the kids allowed to visit him at prison?

His halfway house is 30 minutes from his home. The kids know he is out of prison and they know they are not allowed to see him. Their mother can spend time with him but he can be sent back to prison if he sees or talks to the kids.

How does this make sense? How can this cruelty be anything but evil? It protects no one and throws children into an emotional tailspin they most emphatically do not deserve.

Another family, another cruelty:

The dad is out of prison but not allowed to see his son. Before he can see his son, his probation officer and his therapist require him to disclose the details of his crime to the son. This was a hands-on crime, so the thirteen-year-old son will hear every detail of the crime. It gets worse. The disclosure will also include details about sex between the parents, whose sexual activities were not part of the crime in any way.

What middle-school child needs to hear details of any sexual encounters, let alone his dad's? Note, too, that the therapist requiring the disclosure is not the boy's therapist. If the boy is seeing a therapist, that therapist was not asked if this disclosure was wise. One wonders if the continual discussion of details of the sex crime is gratifying in some way to the probation officer or the therapist.

The casual disregard for the children of sex offenders is astounding. 

1 comment:

Margaret Moon said...

That "therapist" in the second example is sicker than the former offender was when he committed his offense! I cannot imagine anything good could come from telling a middle-school child those things!

As for the first example; please inform anyone suffering that restriction to research " U.S. vs. Wolf Child," a supreme court decision that stated a parent cannot be kept away from his children. (Unless the child was his victim.)

There must be some way to keep probation/parole agents from practicing these abuses of power!

Thank you for continuing to speak out on this subject... you are a light in the darkness.