Just Another Day In Court

26 06 2008

 What a day I had yesterday! I spent most of it in court. I had four clients in there , one of them got held for second session. Blah! I didn’t get out of there until 3:30.

 This week, the judge was in a really good mood. A young man got called up and the conversation went something like this;

“Good morning Mr. Traitor (obviously not his real name). How are you doing?”

“Good morning your Honor. I’m doing good.”

“Mr. Traitor, your team isn’t doing so well this year.”

I figured the kid was on a softball team or something. I quickly figured out that he was just a dumb ass Yankees fan.

“It’s still early in the season your Honor.”

“You said that last year and look what happened! Are you aware Mr. Traitor, that your team has two pitchers who are over 40?”

“Yes your Honor, that’s OK. We’ll be fine.”

“And are you aware that your team is in third place?”

“It’s OK, we’ll be fine.”

” Very well then. Ms. PO, how is Mr. Traitor doing?”

“Your Honor, Mr. Traitor has all…”

“Are you aware that your team is behind Tampa Bay!” The judge blurted out.

“Yes your Honor.” He said while looking at the floor. It’s never good to be behind Tampa Bay.

“I apologize Ms. PO, please continue.”

 I was chuckling through the whole thing but when he went on about Tampa I busted out laughing so hard it made me cry!

 At recess I got yelled at by my clients lawyer. Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything I did. I quickly de-escalated him and gave him the facts he needed to properly defend my client. She got off, probably because the judge was in such a good mood. Both the lawyer and the PO were on the same page with what they wanted for her. Even so, the judge was this close to sending her back to jail. He was pissed at her and thought long and hard about what to do. 

 Oh, and this young woman who was being brought in from jail tried to escape. She managed to slip out of her cuff (she was handcuffed to another woman) and bolt for the door. She still had her shackles on though. All of a sudden an overweight court officer is hauling ass out of the court room. The woman who was seated next to me got up to see what happened and returned and shared the news. Obviously they caught her. My guess is it’s pretty hard to run when you have a 6 inch chain attached to both feet. Anyway, after she told the story, the young woman in front of me said;

“If you’re cuffed and shackled, it’s probably a good idea to call it a day.”

  You would think that, wouldn’t you? Not so much. This guy got away with it.

 

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12 responses

26 06 2008
Pearl

I’ve been lurking on your blog off and on. With all these troubled young people, I conclude there must be a lot of dysfunctional families in your area.

26 06 2008
mrschili

Pearl, WHAT are you talking about? Do you really think there is no dysfunction where YOU live?

The fact of the matter is that dysfunction – in its varying degrees and forms – is pretty much rampant everywhere; it’s the strong, stable, intact families that are unusual. Talk to ANY teacher, police officer, psychologist or social worker, and they’ll totally back me up on that.

My sister does incredibly important work in trying to help these broken people find their way in the world. Is there anything YOU can do to help in YOUR neighborhood, because there are people there who need help, too, I guarantee it.

26 06 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

Well said Chili!

26 06 2008
Auntie Teacher

How old is Randy Johnson? He looked ancient! I’m gonna check my baseball cards from the 70’s, I bet I have one of him.

26 06 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

Randy Johnson plays for Arizona now. He is 44 and probably the ugliest guy in baseball. He sure can throw though!

27 06 2008
Anonymous

Chili, don’t ya worry. Out here in the flat land we take care of each other. We have strong families, a strong work ethic, and strong faith.
Just look at the flooding out here. We are all helping people in need. Do ya see any looting or buildings being smashed? We are not perfect and yes we have some dysfunctional families, but I would bet the percentages are far less.

Did you hear me criticize your sister? Hummm, I don’t think I did.

27 06 2008
Pearl

Oh, it didn’t take my name. That was me.

27 06 2008
mrschili

Pearl, I’d have to disagree. I don’t think the percentages are less, though I don’t know how I’d go about finding statistics on such things.

Oh – wait – how about this?

State Profile: Ohio

* Ohio has an estimated minority youth population of 18%.
* In 1997, minority youth comprised 49% of commitments to public facilities and 51% of detention placements.
* Statewide, 205 White youth were in residential placement on October 29, 1997 for every 100,000 youths in the population compared to 1,105 African-American youth, 404 Hispanic, 315 American Indian, and 83 Asian youth.

Source: Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (1999).

(I just picked a random “flat land” state)

You didn’t criticize my sister, but you DID imply that our environment is less stable than others – yours in particular – and indirectly criticized the need for people to do the work that she does. My point is that I am certain that this is not true, your lack looting and building smashing notwithstanding.

27 06 2008
MST

I’m with ya, Chili.
Pearl, Auntie writes about these kids, and you read them, because that’s what she does for a living…it’s her job, where she spends at least 8 to 10 hours a day. If she were a circus performer, I suppose she’d write about that (and perhaps you’d then come to some broad blanketed conclusion about people in our area being thrill-seekers or wearing too much makeup or something). I don’t know what your days are like, but if you wrote about it, I’m sure I could come to some incorrect conclusion about the flat lands as well, and that you would not be happy about that. I’m also sure that if you got in touch with your local Department of Social Services (YES, you DO have one in your parts), you could speak to Auntie’s colleagues there and they could fill you in on the kids that they unselfishly help all day, every day. They are there, Pearl. You just don’t see them (perhaps you don’t want to). I know this for a fact because I did live in one of those flat states…southern Indiana, a stone’s throw from Kentucky, and did some volunteer work there. While it’s true that the big cities have issues with looting, etc, but that does NOT happen regularly, other areas of the country have different issues…but they are sides of the same coin. I’m not saying that we are better, or anything of the sort…what I’m saying is that we ALL have to work together…neighbors, strangers, EVERYONE…to help eachother. I think it’s beautiful how people are helping eachother out after the floods. I’m also proud of being human seeing how people out West (LA included) are helping eachother through the wildfires. I am also certain that if anything happened here along those lines, people I don’t know would be helping me. I know this because even when we have a Nor’easter with a couple of feet of snow, my neighbors come over with shovels to help, and I do the same.
And…I, too, have a strong family, a strong work ethic, and a strong faith. My family, my work, and my faith may not look like yours (in fact I’m QUITE sure that they don’t, right Auntie?) but that does not make them any less effective in teaching me how to live a decent life with all humanity.
open your eyes, Pearl…we all live in this world together. Just because you don’t SEE the drug addicts, the teenage moms, the juvenile offenders, and such doesn’t mean that they are not there. And just because the large cities, which are very far away from you, SEEM to have more of these issues doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect you. Maybe not DIRECTLY, but certainly indirectly through the economy, taxes, etc…and ignoring it certainly doesn’t stop it, and neither does expressing disdain and disgust. My suggestion? Open your heart, accept reality, and help.

28 06 2008
Pearl

My suggestion: Step back and reflect on the reasons why there are so many dysfunctional families in our country. Let’s focus on the cause of the problem, not just the result.

Chili, I live quite a ways from Ohio. I would say Ohio is not part of the rural farm land of America. I guess I live in the rural farm land because I don’t like what I see in the built up areas of the east and west coast.

The end –

28 06 2008
whodoesshethinksheisanyway

Pearl, I do focus on the cause of the problem. Every single day. My work with these young people includes recognizing old behaviors and coping skills and learning new, healthier ones. You totally missed Chili’s point. I work to take the “dys” from dysfunction. While you sit there and judge, I teach them that they can live happy and productive lives. While you sit on your farm pointing your finger, I take phone calls at all hours of the day and night from kids who want very desperately to stay clean and do the right thing. I give them hope, compassion, a safe place to put their feelings, and understanding. What are you doing to fix the problem?
Some people chose to bury their head in the sand, some do not. Drug use doesn’t discriminate. It is in cities as well as vast farm lands. Wake up and smell the meth lab. They are moving from west to east. Should be in your neighborhood soon! Better yet, tell me your state, I’ll let you know what is already going on in your area. AL, MS, PA, VA. SC?

30 06 2008
MST

HALLELUJAH!!! Focus on the solution! I think that’s been what we’ve all been saying. I’m glad we cleared that up.
I’m sure the corn farmers of Ohio might disagree with you on whether or not they live in ‘rural farm land,’ though.
And both Auntie and Chili, as a social worker and a teacher, focus on that solution every single day.
The solution, however, is a lot more complicated than I know I can even conceive, but I do know that practicing acceptance and selflessness are key….which includes accepting ideas different from our own. I also know that this dialogue, even with all of the misperception, is also part of the solution…it got us all thinking outside of ourselves, even a little bit.
So, THANKS, Pearl!

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