A judge in Oakland County, Michigan, was frustrated that 3 kids from a broken family didn’t want to see their dad and weren’t complying with her custody orders. So in response she had all 3 kids jailed — sent to juvenile detention. The children — a x-year-old xx, a 10-year-old boy, and a nine-year-old girl — were held in the detention center for 3 weeks.
After news of this judicial abuse gained traction, the judge agreed to release the kids . . . sort of. She had them switched from juvenile detention to a “summer camp” program for delinquent youths, which are typically run in the style of a military boot camp, but she refuses to rescind the order.
This story makes me furious, on all fronts. Divorce is a traumatic process for kids in and of itself, made worse when parents can’t be civil about it. I have no way of knowing whether these children’s desires were genuine or whether they are being manipulated by their mother, but either way, if anyone deserves to be jailed, it’s the parents.
As should this judge. This case is a perfect example of how backwards our system is when it comes to the way it thinks about child welfare. Being placed in an institution like this is not some benign punishment. It is a traumatic experience. It will exceed in harm the damage and injury caused by all but the most severe cases of child abuse. Most people don’t think of it this way, because we’re trained to see the world through a distorted, politically correct lens that tells us certain things are bad and other things are good. But there are many ways to injure children, and imprisoning them through a court action is not so fundamentally different than an abductor snatching them away and confining them to his basement.
I wonder of this judge thought of that when she made this ruling, or if like most judges, she was simply too pumped full of pompous self-righteous arrogance to see the harm in her actions. Other people who have caused far less suffering would be facing life in prison for their crime. But I guess she felt these kids deserved to be traumatized, and her position as a judge allows her to order things to be done to kids that would make national headlines if a parent did this.