Saturday, July 26, 2014

Things Fall Apart

A little over a week ago I got a call from Holland's residential placement.  His team was on "shut down", which meant that all the boys in his group (about 8) had been put on a status that required the strictest supervision.  The staff had determined that the boys had not been following the peer feedback and accountability.  There were also boys that were teasing Holland, causing him to react inappropriately and then they would call him out on his behavior.  He would not accept their feedback and the cycle would repeat.  The team had to go through three stages in order to rebuild their accountability to each other and be able to work together again.  They lost a lot of privileges and were not able to make any phone calls until Stage Three.  They had to make amends with each other and each boy had to call his parents and explain his role in the breakdown of the group - "take accountability" for his part in the group's behavior.

I was so excited when I heard the boys had made it to Stage Three.  It sounded like they had pulled it together and were a team again.  On Thursday night I got a call from Holland.  He started his call with, "I'm taking accountability for my part in a member of my team running away."  I was all confused.  I thought we were past Stage One and here he was apologizing for something.  I asked what he was talking about.  His phone calls are limited to five minutes, so I knew I wasn't going to get much information out of him.  He said that he and another boy had planned on running away from the program.  He didn't do it, but the other boy had.  He made it into Portland and was caught (I later found out the boy had turned himself in), and was back in detention.  I asked if Holland would have to go back in detention.  He said he didn't know.  I had a million questions.  I had zero time to ask them.  I wanted to talk to a staff person.  I couldn't - the other boys needed to make their phone calls. 

The next day I was able to get hold of his former PO and find out more of what happened.  She was going out to visit him and discuss the seriousness of his situation.  With Holland's recent diagnosis of autism, I wonder if he has to go in front of a judge again, that his medical diagnosis will be taken into account.  I'm afraid of what will become of him if he is incarcerated.  He will not get the kind of therapy he needs.  If you are reading this, please pray that he does not get removed from his current placement.

I got another call last night and I'm afraid that his time may be over.  He barricaded himself in an upstairs room with a foosball table.  He threw something out a window and when he finally did come out, he ran outside the house.  He said he never left the property, but he still had staff chase him outside.  They discussed his options and I'm doubting that they will want to keep him after this.  I know the program wants to work with him, but when he keeps getting physical like this, he'll be viewed as too much of a threat to the other boys and their safety.

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