Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids and drugs

Is your kid into drugs? Even just a little? I mean, illegal drugs.

Grab him or her by the hand and spend a morning in Judge Sharon Prather's courtroom, Room 304 at the McHenry County Government Center. Get there about 8:50AM and have a seat in the front row. Tell your kid to take notes.

Have your kid listen to Judge Prather advise a defendant of his or her rights. Watch the parade of men and women in the orange jail clothing, as they are escorted from "custody" to the bench. Tell your kid to write down the risk of a term in the Illinois Department of Corrections, the maximum fine that might be imposed, the length of probation after a sentence is completed.

Have a real discussion with your kid about what his or her choices could lead to.

Ask him (or her) to what extent he is using drugs. Not "if", but "to what extent".
Ask if he ever shares them with friends.
Ask how he gets them; from whom does he buy them?
Ask how often he has sold them.
Ask if he has felt he needs to sell them, in order to get the money to buy his own?

Ask how he would feel if he were caught and had to come into the courtroom from the jail side of that door, wearing orange.

Ask if he would care how you felt to see him at the bench, being read the charges against him.

Take him to your lawyer and ask how much a defense would cost. Tell him whether or not you will further mortgage your home, blow your retirement plan or otherwise spend your money to defend him.

Ask him if it's worth it to destroy his life with a misdemeanor or felony charge and/or conviction in a criminal record.

And then tell him (or her) that you love him and, if he ends up in court, you'll be there to watch what happens, but it is he who will pay the price.

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