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Missouri DOC - What You Need to Know Information relating to the Missouri Department of Corrections. Q&A for those new to the system should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 06-21-2007, 09:36 PM
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ram63565 ram63565 is offline
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Default Dealing with the stress of incarceration

A little background info: we are a family of 6 that moved to this town 2 years ago. The 2 boys (12 and 13) get great grades, awards, and play 4 sports each. The girls (8 and 9) also do great in school and play 1 sport each (all thats offered for their ages).
In April my husband was arrested for Assault 2nd on L/E. On June 20th he was sentenced to 4 years. All other charges were dropped (misdem.) This is his second time down and 3rd felony (1 DWI one assault 2nd(not on L/W)). He was on probation for the first assault when he got this felony.
Since he has just gotten to DOC he is still in diagnostics so we have no idea what is next. His first time down was for the DWI and he only did 15% and came home with electronic monitoring.
My big issue is that in a small town nothing stays secret for long. Some have been great, ie...an anonymous sponsor offered to pay my 12 year olds espenses for the Boy Scouts...others have been snide and rotten ie..I have applied for no less then 2 dozen jobs and cant get an interview. But the worst of the worst are those that will no longer let my kids play with theirs, or wont let them come to our house or go to the pool with us.
One mother didnt want my older son on the baseball team but quickly changed her mind when my son overheard her comments and asked her to ,"please speak about me and my family out loud, not in whispers".
My husband IS gulity he kicked the deputy while handcuffed (and in the discovery we found, "left no red mark or bruise").
WHY are people acting like this?
My older son won "outstanding Middle School Boy" during 8th grade graduation but suddenly I'm a rotten parent?!?
How do others deal with this situation? The isolation is killing me.

Any comments would be appreciated!

Last edited by ram63565; 06-21-2007 at 09:37 PM..
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2007, 10:02 PM
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Hello and Welcome~

There are some people out there that think that going to prison is a bad thing. I know that comign from a smell town my self is that people are going to talk no matter what. You just have to let it roll off sometimes. I know that I have some people in my own Church that look down at me because I have stood by my man. But the way that I look at it is that he ( my man thats is) treats me like a Queen and my three kids like they were his own. I dont care what others think about me or how I live my life.
I know how you feel though and I pray for you and your family. May God bless you and help you right now in your time of need.

Krackers Lady

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Old 06-22-2007, 07:56 AM
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Short of moving...you have to walk around with your head held high. You have no reason to apologize for loving someone that has broken the law. You are innocent and your children are innocent.

People are cruel and they always will be. No amount of education will change the things they think, so sometimes there is no point trying. BUT, there are those that can be shown the error of thier thinking and will change.

Prison has this awful stigma attached to it and some people think that you must have done something pretty awful (ie: murder, rape, etc) to go there. This is not the case at all. There are people in prison for non violent crimes, drugs, DWI, bad checks, embezzelment. You don't have to commit a heinous crime to do prison time in this world anymore.

Maybe education to go along with holding your head up high? When the other mother says your son can't play with her son, ask why not? Stand up for the kids...they are the biggest victims in this whole thing. Speak up and find out the reasons for people feeling this way.

As for the jobs, is this the first time you are looking for work? Were you a stay-at-home mom? If so, it could be just your qualifications. Start smaller, such as the grocery store or the drug store and just work as a cashier, maybe taking two jobs to make more money. Going in for a $30k a year job with no experience is tough. What sort of jobs were you looking for that you didn't get called back? This could be the reason and not because your husband is in prison.

I'm sure it's really hard on you and the kids, but it does sound like there are plenty of people willing and able to help out your family. Not all people, small town or not, are ignorant and mean.

With the amount of prisoners in this state, the chances of knowing someone who is in prison, on parole or probation is great. Nobody is perfect and nobody should pass judgement on others. Those that do pass judgement on the families of those that have committed crimes is just trash in my opinion. But trash is a necessary part of life, so just take out the trash.
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Old 06-24-2007, 01:08 PM
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I agree 100% with Christy's point of view regarding this issue! It is hard to have a loved one in prison regardless of the reason or relationship, BUT it wasn't you or your family that committed the crime/offense so "hold your head-up, try to remain positive and get on with your life, so that your children see the situation in the positive light possibe, it will NEVER be a great situation, but if kept in the right perspective it can be dealt with in a positive manner. (I'm choosing to use my son's incarceration as an opportunity for me to learn as much as possible about the DOC and the penal system in general, in an effort to bring about positive changes in the current system, which is something I would've NEVER done if I hadn't had a loved one incarcerated! Best wishes to you, your kids and your husband!
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Old 06-24-2007, 04:36 PM
tariqmom tariqmom is offline
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Hi and welcome, I agree with the other ladies. Keep praying and keep your head held high.
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Old 06-24-2007, 07:27 PM
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I have gone through the same thing recently but not from a child's view. I invited an inmate to live with me. I had never know him before and I am the total straight person in my town. No one could imagine my mental failing to allow a stranger to live with me. And I work for a small school district which made the whole situation worse. I have found that the people who are your true friends will not change their respect or support. But the ones who were back stabbers to begin with will continue to be the same. As people have learned that I am still the same person as before and my life isn't a shambles they are more supportive. Your school administrators should back you and help with the teasing/rejection of your children. That is a different kind of bullying that should not be tolerated. And I agree with Christy about the job thing. Getting a job is a hard thing to do even if you are the best worker ever. And something else I came to realize and point out to my critics is that almost every one has a closet secret and it usually involves a family member with run in's with the law. Keep your head high and be proud of yourself and your children and go one day at a time. This experience will make the family stronger and the children more tolerant in the future of someone different than they are.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:13 PM
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Small towns are terrible for gossip... Hold your head up.. remember in Missouri that 1 in 8 will be in trouble with the law, so tomorrow they will be talking about someone else.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:49 AM
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Thank you all very much for the comments and advice!!
As far as the job thing, though I have been a stay at home for a few years I have worked as an Executive Assistant to an Investment Banker at Raymond James and as a Contract Negotiator for Medco Behavioral Care Systems. I have applied (or sent a resume to ) everything I see in the paper....clerk at Subway, secretarial, everything and anything.
I have heard "God doesnt close a door without opening a new one" but I am having a heck of a time finding the right damned door.
We will keep our heads up, we arent ashamed of ourselves. And you all are right, people will talk until there is something new to cackle about.
Thanks again for helping relieve the feeling of isolation!
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:18 AM
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I've gone through something similar to this. I moved 3 years ago from a town with 113,000 people to a town with a little less then 1300 people. To make matters more complicated, my dad's entire family is from this town or the other townships close and most still live here. So I know most everyone and those that I don't, probably know my family so they know of me. My dad has a very large family.

When I first moved in, the young mother next door came over and introduced herself and then promptly proceeded to point to a house across the street and about 4 doors down and said, "Be careful, a sex offender lives there." Don't get me wrong. I appreciate that she's "up to date" but her bedside manner just sucked. My ex husband/fiancee (that's a whole other story for another thread) is incarcerated on a sex offense (which he was wrongly accused of but again, another story for another thread) and my son (his father) and I have talked about it. He's only 8 so he doesn't know the gory details but he was just told that the judge said he did something wrong to someone and he has to "pay back his debt". The judge didn't understand things so we're trying to work with the judge to "make him listen".

Anyway, I've told my son that there is only certain people we can talk to about his dad because most people just wouldn't understand. So to save alot of question asking, don't talk to anyone about it that we really don't know very well. I mentioned to this neighbor that my ex husband was in on a sex offense but it happened when I wasn't with him, that I was already divorced from him. I told her mainly because we had just told me son and in case she heard him talking about it (she has 2 girls that he plays with often) she would know. (You know, you always tell kids things and ask them not to tell which just makes them want to tell that much more) She was very nice about it and said she would let me know if she heard anything.

About 2 weeks later there was a knock at the door one evening and it was my neighbor. She had come over to advise me that my son had been talking to the little boy across the street and I guess, in a moment of trust, had told him about his dad. Well, he then went and told his parents who the promptly started the phone tree. They called the parents of the little boy and girl up the street who then called my next door neighbor. Luckily (or so my neighbor says and I have no reason not to trust her at this point) she stopped the train. She told them that he had never in the house where they live now, it happened after I had divorced him (why that matters, I'm not sure) and that more then likely, he would never live in this house because of the long sentence he received. (I accidently on purpose failed to tell her that we were working on appeals to get him out. That probably would have sent her into a tailspin) She said that seemed to curtail everything. To this day though, the people across the street barely acknowledge me and the people up the street wouldn't do it if I slammed into them with my car. My neighbor still talks to me and, in fact, we often babysit each other's kids.

It's hard going from a place where hardly anyone knows you (in the big scheme of things) to a place where everyone knows you or your business. I mostly try to keep to myself, I don't participate in alot of community activities, and make it a point to not even shop in my town if I can help it. Sad but true. I'm a very private person and would have never have moved here if I wasn't willed a house from my grandfather's estate. It's not that I hate it here but it's a little too small for me.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:04 AM
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I understand so well the "culture shock" of moving from a large city to a small one. We came from west of st Louis (st peters) to unionville. There were more people in our subdivision than there are in our "new" town.
Our town (pop. 2000) is the largest in the county (pop. 5000).
I have taken to heart the advice to "hold my head high".

Interesting side note, the deputy my husband kicked called me to let me know she wouldve worded her report differently if she knew the judge was going to give my husband 4 years. She said she read my post and put 2 and 2 together. (not a hard peice of detective work...its a county of 5000 , how many couldve just been convicted of Assault on L/E).
I said that I was confused by her call and wasnt sure what she wanted. If she wanted me to say "thats ok" its not going to happen. She ended the call by saying she just thought it was a harsh punishment!!

What the heck am i supposed to do with that? I guess she was trying to clear her conscience but her clear conscience doesnt stop my daughters tears or pay my bills. I think it was pretty "over the top" for her to call me.
Good Luck bbwlisahar! Thanks for the comments
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram63565
I understand so well the "culture shock" of moving from a large city to a small one. We came from west of st Louis (st peters) to unionville. There were more people in our subdivision than there are in our "new" town.
Our town (pop. 2000) is the largest in the county (pop. 5000).
I have taken to heart the advice to "hold my head high".

Interesting side note, the deputy my husband kicked called me to let me know she wouldve worded her report differently if she knew the judge was going to give my husband 4 years. She said she read my post and put 2 and 2 together. (not a hard peice of detective work...its a county of 5000 , how many couldve just been convicted of Assault on L/E).
I said that I was confused by her call and wasnt sure what she wanted. If she wanted me to say "thats ok" its not going to happen. She ended the call by saying she just thought it was a harsh punishment!!

What the heck am i supposed to do with that? I guess she was trying to clear her conscience but her clear conscience doesnt stop my daughters tears or pay my bills. I think it was pretty "over the top" for her to call me.
Good Luck bbwlisahar! Thanks for the comments
I agree with you, I don't know why she called other than to make herself feel better. I don't know that she had the ethical right to even make that call.

As for the other stuff...you are on the right track and have the right attitude. I don't know where Unionville is, but is there a bigger city nearby that you could go to a temp agency and at least get a foot in the door somewhere?
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:30 PM
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Just my little friendly advice after all your Husband was in the wrong and this officer still might be reading this. I believe that it must have been a tough choice for her to be able to even pick up the phone and call to let you know how apologetic she is. The Police Officers I have dealt with would never in a life time ever admit to any type of error on their part. I feel it took a lot of guts and courage to just admit that to you. Since she is victim there is a lot that she can do to help out when it comes time for your Husband to see the Parole Board or even before that. Over the years, I have seen cases where the inmates time had been reduced because the victim contacted the sentencing Judge asking for reduced time. Also, if she were to write the Parole Board when it comes time for his sentencing hearing it would help the Parole Board in their dec. making. So there is a lot that she can do to help you out in this situation.

Last edited by mjd; 06-25-2007 at 03:34 PM..
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:23 PM
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I wont hold my breath that she will help on our side, but wouldnt that be nice!!
Great suggestion Christy, i'm about an hour or so from Kirksville, but even if its minimum wage its more than the zero i am making now.
Todd, my husband, is in St. Joe for Reception. Does anyone know how long it will take before they give him something to write with so we can hear from him?
We all sent letters as soon as he was sentenced so he would have mail waiting but we havent heard from him. It may be a bit of a shock (though hes been locked up b4 so i doubt it) maybe thats the delay.
The woman I spoke with said I cannot send stamped envelopes or really anything else so I guess its just a mini waiting game.
And since I have your attention , does anyone have anyone in Tipton?
Our friend Keith Mulder is there and we lost touch with him a couple years ago. I cant get a hold of his wife and wanted to write him (he's the godfather of 1 of our daughters) but I would hate to write him and have it be an issue. so, on the off chance that anyone knows him could you ask him and let me know?
Good wishes for you all
B
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram63565
I wont hold my breath that she will help on our side, but wouldnt that be nice!! I wouldn't either!
Great suggestion Christy, i'm about an hour or so from Kirksville, but even if its minimum wage its more than the zero i am making now. this is very true!
Todd, my husband, is in St. Joe for Reception. Does anyone know how long it will take before they give him something to write with so we can hear from him? He should have it by now - can you visit at all?We all sent letters as soon as he was sentenced so he would have mail waiting but we havent heard from him. Keep doing it...he may just be down It may be a bit of a shock (though hes been locked up b4 so i doubt it) maybe thats the delay.
The woman I spoke with said I cannot send stamped envelopes or really anything else so I guess its just a mini waiting game. Used to be you could send stamps, but no longer. Put money on his books to buy paper, envelopes and stamps. Maybe $10?And since I have your attention , does anyone have anyone in Tipton?
Our friend Keith Mulder is there and we lost touch with him a couple years ago. I cant get a hold of his wife and wanted to write him (he's the godfather of 1 of our daughters) but I would hate to write him and have it be an issue. so, on the off chance that anyone knows him could you ask him and let me know? Try a Google search on her...maybe you can find a phone number.Good wishes for you all
B

You will be okay! One word of advice...I know you need a job right now, but heed this warning...Kirksville is an hour away, gas prices are high with no end in sight. Make sure the job you take doesn't put you in the hole. Make sure the pay is good enough that you are able to afford the drive and the childcare. Otherwise, that good job in Kirksville will not be worth it. Have you tried Monster/Hotjobs/Career Builder? Also, there is a website called Indeed.com that has ALL the job listings on the internet...it's an amazing search engine. Try that...it will pull from places you never would have dreamed to look!
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:22 AM
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I had never heard of Indeed.com and I will check it out ASAP!!
When Todd was leaving County to go to Regional to then be sent to Reception I gave him $20. Mayve there is just a delay in getting to the store or whatever. I have learned from other posts that I will drive myself crazy trying to second guess the "ways" of the DOC.
I dont think we can visit yet.
This next question probably belongs somewhere else so please move it if necessary...
Does anyone know how old a child has to be to be home alone in MO?
There is no childcare for kids 12 and older here. IF I get a job, the school offers a program for little kids (my 8 and 9 year olds) its $13 a day/kid. The 13 year old is gone for the month of July at a college camp but the 12 year old would be alone. Then again, I dont yet have a job so it may not be an issue.
Thanks again!
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:47 PM
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Does anyone know how old a child has to be to be home alone in MO?
There is no childcare for kids 12 and older here. IF I get a job, the school offers a program for little kids (my 8 and 9 year olds) its $13 a day/kid. The 13 year old is gone for the month of July at a college camp but the 12 year old would be alone. Then again, I dont yet have a job so it may not be an issue.
Thanks again![/quote]

there is no set age. they take many things into consideration. DFS in your county will be able to answer the questions as to the guidelines they use. maturity level, location, age, they consider all of this.http://missourifamilies.org/features...arenting61.htm
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