It;s been just under two and one half years since our journey started. It’s been long, and hard, and heavy. My shoulders literally ache, I now posess a plethora of new wrinkles, my body has taken a huge amount of stress and somehow managed not to implode.
A few weeks back I had what could only be referred to as a baby mental breakdown. After six weeks of waiting on pins and needles for any clue as to which direction my uncontrollable life will take, I was at my wits end.
But today I smile.
Jace received word today that the review board decided to release him from prison on his end of sentence date of September 22nd. Jace was very nervous about this decision as he had been told by other inmates and counselors that he would most likely NOT be released unless he showed remorse for his actions. Not only did he not show direct remorse or admit guilt, he also argued with the board about the validity and accuracy of the Static 99R evaluation, Used by most states to determine risk levels.
While difficult to see in this picture – the first two questions on the form are:
- age at time of arrest, for which the highest mark is 18 to 35
- whether you have lived with a lover for 2 years or more.
I understand the reasoning for the second question in terms of emotional development BUT – I’m not sure that the benefit of living with a lover for at least to years by the time you are 18 (20 in Jace case) does equate to a positive. At best the lack of such a marker for someone under age 25 shows an unknown area. Making the fact that jace had not lived with a lover for two years by the time he was 20 IN NO WAY should be reflected in a tool used to determine criminal risk. It’s a ludicrous measure, and Jace spoke up about the irrationality of such a question.
Yet even without being a ‘yes man’ he managed to get a unanimous decision to be released from prison by the board!
While there is a long road ahead of us, including another trial if our appeal wins – for today my son is on his way back to me – and I am, for the first day in many months, able to breathe and SMILE!