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  #1  
Old 01-17-2018, 11:58 PM
JenSC2015 JenSC2015 is offline
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Unhappy Anyone else have a loved in prison in Montana?

My brother is in a private prison in Shelby Montana, sentenced out of Kalispell, Flathead County. We live in California and the distance is hard. Our father is sick and it’s unknown if he will survive to see his son out of prison again. Our mother passed away 6 years ago, this would’ve killed her.

My family lived in Whitefish for 10 months about 19 years ago when my brother got into trouble, he was 17 years old. He took a plea deal of a 20 year suspended sentence. The laws has since changed and his plea deal of 20 year is now the max prison term. Actually for his circumstances the max term is 5 years. He has served his probation in California for 18 years and he got a probation violation, his first one in Montana. They hammered him, 20 years. After giving them almost 19 years on probation without any problems.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:30 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. I'm sorry for what you and your family are facing. Here's the link to the Montana prison forums.
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=153
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:14 AM
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So your brother has to go back to Montana to serve is violation sentence?

I'm so sorry. That has to be really difficult for you and your family. I wish you well in your endeavors, and wish I had more information for you.
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:22 PM
JenSC2015 JenSC2015 is offline
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Originally Posted by GingerM View Post
So your brother has to go back to Montana to serve is violation sentence?

I'm so sorry. That has to be really difficult for you and your family. I wish you well in your endeavors, and wish I had more information for you.
Yes, actually Montana authorities came and got him from our local county jail and transported him up there in June. See, he got in trouble here in California and was serving his sentence. But because he got in trouble here, that violated his probation in Montana so they issued a warrant and when he was released from his sentence here they rearrested him on the Montana warrant.

He’s been in a lot of trouble throughout the last 18 years here. Not big trouble, petty stuff. Driving on a suspended license, numerous times, under the influence and possession of drugs, DUI, nothing to send him to prison over here. Montana has never violated him before until now. So it is his first violation for Montana.

He got a public defender that was retiring in less than a month and his lack of representation was astounding. He probably would’ve been better off representing himself. He was told he had a deal but had to plead guilty and admit he violated his probation. Turns out there wasn’t a deal in place for him. When we tried to address the court on his behalf the judge literally looked at his watch and said “can we make this quick, I have lunch plans.”

I drove up there for this hearing, I was supposed to be able to take him right back home with me. I loaded my daughter up in my truck on her 2nd birthday, picked up his wife and her 2 small children, ages 3 & 5 months, and we drove non-stop from California to Montana to make it to his hearing 2 days later. We pulled into town and straight to the courthouse in order to make it. We barely made it and then they wouldn’t allow us to bring our children into court. They don’t like Californians in Montana.

After the hearing when we were sitting in the courthouse parking lot we got surrounded by the entire sheriffs department. It was like a scene straight out of a Law & Order episode on tv. Lights and sirens, tires screeching as they were stopping, surrounded us and my truck on every possible side. They said they had an eye witness complaint that we were snorting a white substance up our nose with a straw and wanted to search my truck and needed my consent.

They just got my brother for 20 years and now they’re messing with me?! I said no, you don’t have my consent. Not because I was doing anything wrong or had anything to hide but because we weren’t doing anything wrong whatsoever, no possible way they could have a witness, and if they did indeed have a witness then that would be probable cause and they wouldn’t need my consent. I went around and around and around with these cops, they got a drug dog to do a walk around and said the dog made a hit and again asked for my consent. Again, that would be probable cause and they wouldn’t need my consent, so if the dog did get a hit why are they asking?

Until they said they were calling for a tow truck to impound my truck to get a warrant to search it. I can’t have that happen, I just drove from California, ALL of our stuff is in my truck and we kind of need that stuff so I couldn’t have it impounded and finally gave them my consent. Would you believe they didn’t find a damn thing in my truck, no drugs, nothing. Not even a straw. They never searched us, got our drivers licenses or anything else. I say rookies cuz that’s not how it would’ve gone down had it been in California. We would’ve been in handcuffs, not free to roam around like we were. So our civil rights were violated since they prevented us from leaving. They asked to search the first time and I said no, we're leaving. Nope. They had a deputy follow us at all times our entire stay up there and then one that followed us to the county line when we left town. Ridiculous.

It never crossed my mind that I would have to call my father to let him know my brother would not be coming home with us. That was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life so far, other than informing my father and brother that my mother had passed away.

And I feel selfish for thinking about myself and what will happen with me now. Our father was given 2 years to live if he’s lucky, an estimate by doctors, in May 2016. So it hurts my heart to think our father may die with his son in prison so far away. But then if that happens I’ll be he last one left out of our family here. It hurts my heart to wonder if this is what was supposed to happen to our family.

We are a very close, tight family. Our mother died when she was 57. Our father is in his mid 60’s, my brother just turned 37 and I am 34 with a birthday coming up. I’ll have no one to go to for help or guidance or even someone to just have my back for whatever life throws at me. But, I have a 2 year daughter and whatever life throws at my way I have to conquer it for her, I can’t fail because if I fail then she fails and I can’t let that happen. But, it scares me to death and this all hurts so very bad.

And because my brother has been on probation from Montana his entire adult life, it really hasn’t just been him, it’s been all of us as his family. It’s like we’ve been punished and have suffered the consequences right along with him as his family. He was never in this whole ordeal alone, we’ve always had his back. But to think they’ve already got 18 years and now they’ll get another 20, he’ll be almost 77 years old by the time all of this crap is done with prison and then parole, that’s if he doesn’t get into anymore trouble. That’s someones entire life. Taken by one state for something stupid, something that wouldn’t have been an issue in California, something that isn’t illegal in California.

So I can’t help but to wonder if this is really how my brothers life was supposed to go. Is this really how my parents were supposed to die, with my brother in prison. Was I really supposed to be the last one of us left with no one to lean on? This sucks majorly.

I’m sorry for the long post. I feel a little bit better now to be honest. The venting, the ranting, I just got it all out so thank you for that.
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:01 PM
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Unfortunately what happened to you doesn't only happen in Montana. It's common practice in many jurisdictions now. Militarized policing, DoJ providing every podunk department with its own battle tank, etc. and every officer with a machine gun is all fairly new.

At least now I know how they deal with "no consent" they just keep adding penalties until you do agree. If they had probable cause, even false PC like having an officer "smell pot", they wouldn't have asked. The worrisome thing for the police is the chance that they might eventually have to explain their actions in court rather than just in the police station, which goes away when you "consent".
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:47 PM
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Wow, that's a long chain of events that you and your family have been through.

I am glad that we could be here to listen and that you felt better after posting it. Believe me, none of us challenge your story or think you're making stuff up. We see too much of it to believe it's made up.

While I wouldn't wish this on you or yours, I"m glad you found PTO and a place where everyone understands. It's much harder to get through crap like this when you don't have anyone to talk to.

I have no words for what's going on with your brother. It almost sounds like someone needed to get more bodies to fill up the prison with - do you know if Montana is privatized?

Wow, that's a lot to take in.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:01 PM
JenSC2015 JenSC2015 is offline
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Yes, my brother is in a private prison, Crossroads Correction Center. Yes, it is so much to take in and try to process and my family and I haven’t really told anyone where he is. I’ve posted things on Facebook about missing him and whatnot and people have asked me if he’s dead. How do you tell people that he’s in prison without being the talk of the activities we were all involved in or looked down upon? There are so many people that are like if you do the crime you do the time, it’s black or white, no gray area. But, what they don’t understand is that usually those “criminals” have a family, friends or someone that’s left behind that loves them, that supports them & stands behind them. That doesn’t mean they support the act, or condone illegal activity, they love and support the “criminal.”

I also have a cousin in prison here in California. What’s messed up is my cousins father is the one that started my Brothers trouble and felt like if he did some jail time it would straighten him out. My brother was a 16/17 year old teenager and never in any kind of trouble with the law beforehand. He got into trouble at school, traffic tickets and had an attitude.
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Old 01-23-2018, 06:32 AM
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It's difficult to tell people what's going on. I never posted anything about my parents on FB after my Dad's arrest. I was a member of one group of "friends" that was tightly locked down, and posted there once. Just once. Because one of these "friends" posted back that my Dad deserved to die and "if that seems harsh, sorry, I've had a few beers." I finally asked the main moderator to delete the entire post and all replies.

No one in the group, including the moderators of the group, tried to defend my love for my father or chastised the person who posted it. When my Dad did actually die in prison (lung cancer, not inmate related), I posted again and said "to the person who said they thought my dad deserved to die, congratulations, you got your wish."

The problem with FB is that even when you think you know someone, you really don't. From that point on, I took it to emails with people I knew would understand the difference between my Dad's crimes and my love for my Dad. And I was much much more careful about saying anything on FB about my Dad.

But here? On PTO, I poured out all my sorrows. Because I knew that the moderators would be all over any post where someone suggested my dad be shot for his crimes, and because I knew that everyone here would "get it".

I understand what you mean about not being able to talk about it to other people you know. In person, I told people that my Dad "moved South". Most folks accepted that. Or that "My parents don't live together anymore." People jumped to their own conclusions about that. But never again did I post on FB.

We're here for you. We understand. We've been through it. We love our family members - that's why we're here on PTO. You've come to the right place for support. I wish the general public could understand, but most don't. Be aware that unless they've had someone they love incarcerated, they have no experience to draw on to be able to relate to your situation.
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