Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. We have a 14 year old who thinks he's 20..and absolutely untouchable. We are concerned for his safety because he is falling into the wrong crowd. We are ready to do whatever we have to do to keep him safe. Is there anything that JPD can do to maybe scare him a little? A tour of the jail or of the JPD perhaps? Also, does JPD issue ankle tethers to parents that are requesting them? At this point, the only place we want him to go is to school.
Dear Juneau Resident,
JPD doesn't house prisoners so the tour is really not scary. Our officers also are not scary unless someone is breaking the law or presenting a danger to someone. It's not something that can be ordered or scheduled, it's a response to something a person is doing right then. Lemon Creek Correctional Center probably does not do tours for someone who is a minor but you could call them and ask. The ankle moniters are court ordered for people let out of incarceration so that's not really an option.
Now, for what you can do. You can call the counselor at your son's school or Cornerstone and see if you can have a session where boundaries and rules can be set along with consequences for violations. The part where JPD see's parents running into problems is that consequences are not enforced because the parents don't want to be the bad guy or sometimes are actually a little afraid of the out of control teenager. If the teenager decides not to go home because he is grounded you can report that to JPD and officers will bring him home. It is illegal for people like his friend's parents to let him stay at their house without your permission.
The next few years are going to be tough, there is just no way around that. Especially if your son has had some years in his past that he did get to call the shots and didn't have to follow rules and act respectfully. In those cases it's a long road to appropriate sub-adult and adult behavior. There isn't going to be a one-shot fix but more of a process of getting advice, providing love and support while enforcing the rules, and making the tough decisions even if grounding a kid means you get to stay home to make sure he stays home. If it's any comfort, you are not alone in this challenge. You could ask Cornerstone if there is a parent with the same challenge that was successful who might be willing to talk to you.