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Topic : 07/24 One Mistake Away from Jail

Number of Replies: 40
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Friday, February 27, 2009, 02:14:21 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 03/05/09) Truancy, vandalism and drinking alcohol may seem exciting to some kids, but these actions can have severe consequences. Warren Messner found out the hard way, and his shocking story made headlines. In 2005, 15-year-old Warren and his friends were smoking marijuana and drinking in the woods when they happened upon an unsuspecting homeless man. What happened next was unthinkable and landed the teen in jail for 22 years. Dr. Phil cameras go inside a maximum security prison for the first televised sit-down interview with Warren, now 18. Learn what he says motivated him to commit a heinous crime. Then, his mom, Lori, joins Dr. Phil to talk about the warning signs she missed. What does she say she regrets the most? Next, 16-year-old Chris felt high school was a waste of his time, so he dropped out. His mother, Kerry, and stepmother, Lisa, say they're at their wits' end trying to cope with his aggressive ways. They say he assaulted them and stole their money, and they just discovered that he smokes marijuana. Is it too late for the teen to change? And, Janene says her 19-year-old son, Brett, has a bright future, but she fears that his drinking and driving could ruin his life -- or someone else’s. Brett already has two DUIs and crashed three cars but says he’s just being a normal teen. Dr. Phil urges these two young men to spend a day at San Quentin, one of the country’s oldest and most notorious prisons, as part of a program to deter them from a life of crime. Will Chris and Brett accept the challenge? Tell us what you think!

Find out what happened on the show.

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March 5, 2009, 2:20 pm CST

Cry me a river

Oh come on...you do the crime, you do the time. Warren was 15? and had a history of delinquency? if its not nipped in the bud the kid is going to do stupid stuff. Way to go mom, funny how now you want your son to 'get what he needs'.
 
March 5, 2009, 2:44 pm CST

I know

This issue is not about race, it is about signs parents miss and teens as well as parents who don't take responsibility for their choices. I have been there. As a single parent of 3 kids I saw the signs and tried the best I could to address the problems. Unfortunately, there is a phenomena I call Parental Blindness. No matter how much trouble your kids are in it is hard to really SEE it. Two of my 3 kids are in jail now, and sometimes that is the safest place for them to be. Guilt as a parent only makes things worse. Go to parenting classes while your kids are young, and keep a dialog going with them. Never give up on them, but have the strength to let them learn life's lessons, don't rescue them.
 
March 5, 2009, 2:52 pm CST

Hold the parents accountable too

Quote From: dyoung

Regarding Warren's mother. Dr. Phil you came accross as if you were an angry citizen instead of a parent. This mother is hurting. I have been very close to the corrections system in the state which I live for the past 4 years. These men and boys need something other than punishment in their lives. Warren's sister is right, this young man will not be able to function in society when his sentence is completed. It is a revolving door for the people who do not want to better their lives, however the help and resources should be available to anyone willing to take advantage. Just a little more compassion towards HER situation, not her son's, would have been appropriate.

I worked with both the families and the adolescents involved with the juvenile justice system as a counselor. I can tell you that poor parenting is a major contributing factor to juvenile crime. While these parents may tell a 'good story' while on tv, I can assure you that there are many parents out there who spend little time with their adolescents, know nothing about their childrens' lives, provide no structure and consequences for their behavior, and take no responsibility for their childrens' behavior. Some of these parents are on drugs, have very poor or little parenting skills, and do not care until the court holds them responsible. Others are good parents with poor parenting skills. They do not know how to discipline their children and do not know how to communicate proper values. They leave the parenting to the schools and to the courts and then are indignant when they have to finally step up and be accountable for the results of their lack of parenting. We have a generation of children being parented by children. In my state, funds for providing counseling, parenting classes, substance abuse classes, etc has been slashed. At this point, a kid can go out and steal, abuse drugs, etc and still will not be sent to juvenile detention because it costs the state too much. He/she will not receive any kind of counseling because funds have been slashed. If you as citizens, parents, brothers and sisters really care, you will let your state legislature know that there has to be funding to provide the counseling that these kids and their families really need.

 
March 5, 2009, 3:45 pm CST

A parent's side

I can't believe all the mean things said.  Where is the empathy?  It could be your child one day and then you will understand the pain a parent goes through when there child gets in to trouble.  Misunderstood hit it right on the nose.  Not only does the victom and their family suffers but so does the accused family.  That is someone's baby being taken from them and thrown into an awful situation.  My son had never gotten into trouble but at 20 he lost his temper while babysitting his girlfriends 2 yr old.  He threw her in the air and she came down and broke her leg.  He then pushed her and she hit her head and caused a skull fracture.  Then changed a dirty diaper while still mad.  He rubbed hard and fast not paying attention.  He said his finger might have slipped in.  The sexual abuse nurse said there was no signs of sexual abuse but then a doctor said there was.  Her Hyman is still intact but there was bruising.  Of course there would be if he was rough changing her diaper.  He did an awful thing to this sweet little girl, who we loved like a granddaughter but it was not rape.  That doesn't matter in my state.  Any penetration, no matter how slight or accidentaly is rape.  So all you parents wiping desitin out of those hard to reach areas has raped your daughters.  My son did not rape her.  He willing went into questioning and admitted everything he did without a lawyer.  He didn't want to bother his dad or me at work.  He screwed himself by the dectectives using the good cop, bad cop act.  Off tape they told him what to leave out to help him.  I hope their children never have to deal with cops like them.  The penalty for rape with a child under 10 is Life without parole.  He does need to do time for the child endangerment but the punishment for the other does not match what he did.  I know there will be those I have really offended but I don't care what they think.  We are good parents.  We had meals together, game night, church and the whole nine yards yet he still made a huge mistake.  No one knows what parents go through unless you have been there.  Yet we have to listen to ignorant know it alls talk about how bad we are.  The little girl is fine and I am so thankful.  I truly loved her.  And I have lost her and my future daughter-in.  Please think of both side before you run your mouth.  I am in misery but there are no support groups for OUR KIND. 

 
March 5, 2009, 4:21 pm CST

No accountability by authorities?

I was saddened to hear your expert state that there needs to be more accountability for teens by the authorities.  Does this person actually work in the profession or is he a "professor" of knowledge.  Do you understand what happens when a child is tried to be held accountable by the justice system?  Have you sat in court and watched the proceedings?  Maybe a taping of an actual courtroom would be an appropriate follow up on this program.  The juvenile court workers are met with angry parents, angry defense attorneys and a courtroom overwhelmed by trials.  Catching a child when they are young is the KEY, but the court has no time for early minor crimes.  The real story begins with the parents, they need to be held accountable for their young and growing child.  I would be very surprised that these adolescents problems did not begin even before they started in school and it continued on until this escalation.  Not many times does this start with one incident.  I do not pretend to think that society does not have a huge role in raising our children, but if we instill good morals and ethics in our children from the very start then the chances of them making it are much better.  This is a story I like to relate- 35 years ago a small boy ate a strawberry in the grocery store and his mother made him apologise to the store manager and they immedicately went home for his piggy bank money to return to the store to pay for it.  Today, first of all the parent probably would do nothing, if the manager saw the strawberry being eaten and confronted the mom, she would be indignant and probably make a scene.  This is exactly what the Justice system experiences with almost every situtation.  Please, Dr. Phil, follow a juvenile probation officer for a day, a week and watch how "accountable" they try to keep their kids on their caseload.  They did not get in the business to hate kids, quite the contrary, they believe prevention is the key, but their hands are tied!
 
March 5, 2009, 4:32 pm CST

03/05 One Mistake Away from Jail

Dr. Phil,

Thank you for the warning signs. People have to understand that the warning signs can come in any combination. They could show one sign or a combination of many. It could happen slowly or come on fast. If you are unsure because it seems that all the kids are acting the same ask your doctor. If your doctor doesn't listen find a local teen mental health specialist in your neighborhood. With my two boys they both started with their moods in the sixth grade. I thought at first it was that they were just growing up and having the normal teenage angst. My oldest one's grade never faltered, he had good friends, and never got into trouble, but he was always talking and complaining about things in his life. He just wasn't happy. My youngest son started in sixth grade isolating himself. Through junior high school he slowly isolated himself from his friends and family. By the time he got to high school he hit rock bottom. His grades started to fall and by the second semester he quit going to school. In my oldest son case his pediatrician never suggested to have him analyzed. It wasn't until he was 18 when his doctor finally suggested therapy. I had wished it had come sooner. When my youngest started to isolate himself in sixth grade he still had his friends and his grades were good so I didn't think anything was wrong. So when he started to refuse to go to school and started to get violent I sent him to the ER at our local hospital who had diagnosed him. They recommended a program in my neighborhood that dealt with teens with mental issues and with intense therapy he's on his way back. So what I'm saying is if you even think your child may have a problem you have to be proactive. If you believe something may be wrong and are not sure, make your doctor suggest a therapist to have your child analyzed, call your local hospital for suggestions. The worst that could happen is that you were wrong and your child is just rebelling. At least you will know what your dealing with.

 
March 5, 2009, 5:25 pm CST

These mothers make me angry

My son went to prison at 18, he turned 20 years old today. He committed a burglary, got 10 years, do 6, and 4 years probation. Not once have I made excuses for my son, unlike the mothers on the show today. My son "manned-up' and is taking his punishment.

 

Prison is very hard, we live in a very small town, not much racial diversity. He was thrust into a foreign environment, the population of the prison is larger than the population of our town. In the 2 years that he has been away from home, he has had one uncle die of brain cancer, another die of lung cancer,and yet another die of a heart attack, we are hoping that his grandfather will not succumb to liver cancer before he gets out.

 

 He has made the best of his time inside, he earned an honors G.E.D., completed drug and alcohol counseling, and reentry counseling. I can not help but mourn over what he lost by getting into trouble, no high school graduation, he had been accepted to a trade school for auto mechanics, the loss of trust, and not to metion the loss of ALL of his Uncles.

 
March 5, 2009, 5:36 pm CST

They WILL NEVER learn...

Hi. Im 19 yrs old. I have a brother thats in these kids' same situation. I think that if your parents are divorced that plays a role in it too or even peer pressure, but they have the choice to do it or NOT! I dont get what the thrill is of be a bad ass!!! If puttin them into jail wont make them learn then i dont get what will!Honestly i dont even think that near death experience will change them either. I will be watchin your show tmr to see what you have to say.
 
March 5, 2009, 5:37 pm CST

Tried it all

My question is what do you do to solve the problem??
We have experienced all that Dr. Phil was speaking about today since my son was at least 15. Wrong group of kids, taking drugs, jail time and we are still trying to keep him on track. He is now 24. I am sure some of these parents are wanting to know what to do to protect their children from going down the wrong path. I am still looking for these answers. You cannot monitor your kids 24/7. We tried to keep him in sports and school but because of grades he was dropped from the team. This did not help matters when he now had free time to do whatever he wanted. It was a challenge just getting him through school. He begun getting mixed up with the wrong kids, taking drugs, stealing, etc. I tried getting therapy for him, HA! that was a joke because the therapist just joked with him. I tried the "Action" program and they basically just called everyone in there an "ADDICT". I did not agree that he was an addict (but he could have been and maybe is). I don't see the drug signs like I use to. I did drug test him on a regular basis and he went to jail for drugs and stealing. He adapted just fine to jail. Actually had fun and told me it was not too bad. I guess when you can sit and play cards with other inmates all day and socialize, it wouldn't be too bad. He was not in a room alone. He was in a group room. I tried to get him books so he could study a profession and make use of his time in there but NO, they would not accept the books. I think the jails need to be tougher on these kids. Make them not want to be there. Now that he is out the challenge is keeping him working and making a life for himself without kicking him out on the street.
I can go on and on.........
 
March 5, 2009, 6:44 pm CST

Pry in your childs life and never give up

Quote From: mfrenz12

My question is what do you do to solve the problem??
We have experienced all that Dr. Phil was speaking about today since my son was at least 15. Wrong group of kids, taking drugs, jail time and we are still trying to keep him on track. He is now 24. I am sure some of these parents are wanting to know what to do to protect their children from going down the wrong path. I am still looking for these answers. You cannot monitor your kids 24/7. We tried to keep him in sports and school but because of grades he was dropped from the team. This did not help matters when he now had free time to do whatever he wanted. It was a challenge just getting him through school. He begun getting mixed up with the wrong kids, taking drugs, stealing, etc. I tried getting therapy for him, HA! that was a joke because the therapist just joked with him. I tried the "Action" program and they basically just called everyone in there an "ADDICT". I did not agree that he was an addict (but he could have been and maybe is). I don't see the drug signs like I use to. I did drug test him on a regular basis and he went to jail for drugs and stealing. He adapted just fine to jail. Actually had fun and told me it was not too bad. I guess when you can sit and play cards with other inmates all day and socialize, it wouldn't be too bad. He was not in a room alone. He was in a group room. I tried to get him books so he could study a profession and make use of his time in there but NO, they would not accept the books. I think the jails need to be tougher on these kids. Make them not want to be there. Now that he is out the challenge is keeping him working and making a life for himself without kicking him out on the street.
I can go on and on.........

My son chose to live with his dad, his dad didn't care anything about him.  It took me three years to help my son.  My son went from AB Honor Roll Allstar Baseball player to, drugs, alcohol, stealing, abusing ...

 

All the acting out any child does is because of things that happen between parents and home life..that's when they turn to the wrong friends so they fit in and numb their pain, then they can't stop..

 

I never gave up, it was so hard when there wasn't one person that would help me, only work against me even to the point of telling my son i was trying to put him in jail...  and you know what they were right..

 

I filed two March Man Acts, Baker Act, Detox and Asked for him to be arrested..But the very next day.. he already did it on his own stealing from Wal-Mart.. But, they all know me, knew I was desperately trying to help my son.. I even spoke with the judge CO-Incidentaly the day before.. So when my son appreared before the judge.. the judged  court order him with me and my conditionss.... guess what... he no longer curses at me, pushes me, steals from my daughter or I, or hits or.. he is clean of drugs, comes home before 11:00, changed friends.. and now:...  He joined the Marines today..

 

NEVER give up and Always be in your childs business Always... Don't listen to anyone including your son!!!!!

 
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