Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Why do drug addicted parents retain custody of their children?

Full Story: http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/News_0865.htm

Not unlike many drug addicts homes, Jessica Kastens house was a garbage refuge and only one of the things that was sorely neglected in her life. Officers who were called to investigate the scene of a crime against a child -- an infant to be more precise -- called the home deplorable. Drug paraphernalia was littered all over the floor, well within reach of the children that lived there. Jessica, a 25 year old mother of three, left her children unsupervised while a pot sat burning on the stove for almost 24 hours. The children, including a 2-year-old and an 18-month-old, were reportedly covered in soot from head to toe with soot in their ears and nose. They're lucky to be alive. Not so lucky however, was her 6 month old infant, Gavin Fochs, who suffocated while his mother slept off her drug induced stupor. When the baby was finally found, his hands were clenched and he had already entered into rigor mortis, indicating that he had been dead several hours. Apparently, his mother was too out of it to notice that the baby was in trouble as the pillow she put in his bassinet was the source of his asphyxiation. Unfortunately, this story echoes a problem across our country -- drug mothers completely neglecting their children. In an effort to feed their addictions they create yet another generation of completely messed up and abused children who often go on to repeat the cycle. In a country where privacy and minding one's own business is regarded as sacred, this self -indulgent, apathetic, anti-social society cant dismiss their partial blame for neglect happening right under their noses. The second part of this tragedy comes again at the expense of baby Gavin. A year after she put her needs above her 3 small children and chose drugs over them, she might have been the shining example of redemption had she served her time and allowed her children a better life than what she could provide them. Instead, an out of touch judge gave Jessica Kasten another chance. Apparently neglect resulting in death of a infant just isnt important enough to overcrowd a jail. Perhaps if her neglect would have lead to several deaths of adults, the judge would have seen it differently, because adults are people and infants can be replaced? For whatever his reason, Judge Patrick Brady of Wausau County, Wisconsin, saw it fit to reward a drug mother instead of honoring little Gavin in a way that says that we will not tolerate abusive, neglectful mothers. After all, the judge is taking a leap of faith of the abilities and capabilities of a mother who would fall into this self-absorbed disconnect of motherhood to begin with. All we can hope for is that his gift to the surviving children doesnt turn out with the same fate as their infant brother. Although outside drug treatment programs boast a 50% higher rate of success than those of prisons, the real tragedy in this is the lost life of baby Gavin and how the courts view the worth of that tiny baby. While this mother will likely have to undergo continual drug testing and stay within treatment programs, to allow her to go on with her life without any consequence or accountability is a crime in and of itself.

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