Faced with charges relating to rioting, mischief, causing hurt, failure to comply with the conditions of a provisional driving licence and riding a motorcycle without insurance, Morris, 19 years old believes that he is heading for jail. A report filed in March, by a probation officer assessed that Morris is not suitable for probation. Following which, a pre-sentencing assessment recommended that Morris be sent to the Reformative Training Centre (RTC).
Unlike Morris, his mother believes that he should be heading home instead of the RTC so that she can keep an eye on him. His older brother also feels that Morris will find it even more difficult to rebuild his life after being incarcerated and he should be given a chance to make amends while living with his family. Hence, in April Morris’s family requested for a pro-bono counsel and early this month, she succeeded in persuading the Court to call for a supplementary probation report. The Court also requested the investigating probation officer to review the family’s care and supervision plan.
This week, a meeting to craft the plan was attended by Morris’s grandmother, an aunt, his mother, and brother. The investigating probation officer, 2 other social workers attending to the family, his girlfriend and a long-time childhood friend were also present virtually. After the purpose of the meeting was reiterated, those present shared why they were there and what they wanted to achieve.
Morris appeared to be in deep thought as his family and friends expressed their commitment to help him stay out of trouble if he is given a probation order. They were convinced that Morris is a decent person despite his infractions, and it would pain them tremendously to see him incarcerated.
Then with much visible remorse, Morris addressed the group. He thanked his mother for never abandoning him despite his numerous errors and poor attitude toward her. Even when he stayed away from home in a huff, she would check in with him to see how he is doing. He also recognised her effort in bringing everyone together for the meeting and declared that he really loved her. He then acknowledged his brother for coming to the meeting even though they have drifted apart as well as his friends who were there.
After some private discussions, the family presented an 11-point plan to the investigating probation officer and the social workers virtually. The plan illustrated how Morris will be supervised and it also addressed his employment, anger management, community service and efforts at repairing the harm he has caused. It was detailed with clear descriptions of responsibility and accountability and it received a nod of approval.
The family is the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members. Morris’s family hopes that they have done enough to convince the Court that they are able to help him develop to be a contributing member of our society. We wish them well.
Wishing you and all at home, health, and peace of mind.
Once someone in your family orbit, there’s a mutual responsibility and what happens to them, happens to you. – Hank Azaria