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Would You Punish Your Teen by Leaving Him in Jail?!

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This weekend, the Chicago Sun Times reported that one mom was so peeved that her son stole a car, she left him in jail!

teen in jail

Seventeen-year-old Ravontay Hutchins snagged a pizza delivery vehicle after it was left running outside of a restaurant, and cops busted him on foot. At his hearing, his mom called him out as "spoiled," explaining that his dad was serving in the military in Iraq. After the judge set Ravontay's bail at $25,000, his mother told the judge, "I've got [the money to bail him out], but he's staying here, locked up!" Then she stomped out of the courtroom! When he was led out of court and to his cell, his mom yelled, "You think about that, while your dad's in Iraq."

So ... if your kid pulled a bonehead move like this, would ya punish him by leaving him in jail?


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35 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jennifer August 10, 2010, 8:24 AM

I say good for this mom too!
I have always been straight forward with my teenager about this situation. He knows that if I get a call from the police, he will be sitting right where he’s at until they decide to let him go! We parents are really missing the mark these days when it comes to making our children accountable for their own actions. (I say WE because I am just as guilty as the next parent.) I don’t know why we think our kids will just die if they don’t have the latest of this or that, or if they actually have to wait for something! God forbid, they actually live with the consequences of their own actions!
I think kids would be in way less trouble if we parents put the smack down!

really August 10, 2010, 8:31 AM

I really don’t think the teen’s father being in Iraq has anything to do with his stealing a car. Why on earth would the mom say that? Then she says he is spoiled. Well if he is then it is her fault and SHE should be in jail, not him. Is she saying that she has gone easy on him BECAUSE the dad is in Iraq? It doesn’t mke any sense. Spoiling your kids does not automatically make them steal cars! And I just knew I would read posts where someone said it all started when parents quit spanking. Hitting your kids is ignorant and does not equate with discipline. Honey, if you live in Chicago, you should know Cook County Jail is NOT a good place for anyone and I would bet most in there had been hit as kids. Now they are being raped. Is that just? Please look into rape as a form of torture, there are organizations who are seeking to stop rape in jail. It is NOT part of the penalty!

K August 10, 2010, 9:35 AM

I agree with the mom not bailing him out and letting him suffer the consequences of his actions. However, it doesn’t sound like she’s a gem herself… you do NOT give that kind of lip in a courtroom (I hope she was at least prompted for a response about the bail, just shouting that out is just plain disrespectful).

Jessica August 10, 2010, 10:44 AM

I love how they are so nonchalant about it, a bonehead move. Come on. He stole a car, that’s a bug deal.
I’m proud of that mom. I’d do the same thing. I’m not paying for my kid’s mistake by bailing him out. He can sit there and learn his lesson. More parents should be like this and maybe we wouldnt have as high of a crime rate.
He’s 17, and should know right from wrong by now.

Jana August 10, 2010, 10:52 AM

This young man is age 17. If he doesn’t learn NOW that his actions have consequences then he will be in for a very hard life.

If he commits a similar crime after he is of adult age, the consequences will be much harsher and he will have a “permanent” criminal record that can also cause him many problems in the future.

Mommy and Daddy cannot and should not always come running to bail out Junior, they are not doing him any favors by teaching him that he has no responsibility for his actions.

Jana August 10, 2010, 11:01 AM

Please realize that is is MUCH harder on the parents to leave him there than to take him home, but it is the best thing for him in most circumstances.

The book “Tough Love” is filled with truth and very good advice.

Suzzette August 10, 2010, 11:04 AM

I’d totally leave me kid in there overnight…It might teach him/her something…You don’t get a “get out of Jail” card just because you have a mommy or daddy that loves you….you do something illegal, you pay the price for it…17 year olds think they’re so grown up alreay and want all these rights, well here’s a big slap of responsibilty to go along with it!

Suzan August 10, 2010, 11:31 AM

I’ve worked in various jails over my lifetime and still get back to them occasionally (on the managerial side thankfully). Even when everything is controlled perfectly, a jail can still be a dangerous, even deadly place to be. Teaching a lesson is a good thing. But having that lesson become unexpectedly harmful is entirely another.

Lynnda August 10, 2010, 11:58 AM

I believe from here on that if a child steals a car or does anything wrong in the early ages, it is a cry for help! What I know now, I would try and help others. I have been a single mom, and my son began using drugs and alcohol, but PEOPLE would say “let him hit rock bottom”. THAT was a mistake because when one does nothing in the mean time with all of the new drugs the damage would have taken place and there is no way to fix it, or reverse it. Now I have to live knowing my son has damage to his brain and is schizophrenia. So YES I do believe that jail can do some justice, but get them HELP as soon as possible because being in the system would eventually get them many years in prison, which does nothing or help them in any way!!! I KNOW…

Lynnda August 10, 2010, 12:12 PM

I DO NOT BELIEVE IN “TOUGH LOVE” because many people who used that method their children are dead from an over dose or struggling with a mental illness!!! One must get the help as soon as possible, NOT everyone is the same, and it can cost some one their life…Look at Brittney, Lindsey, and all of the others that died of an overdose. The addiction is powerful, and what I know now I would have done more to prevent my son from the damage. And yes, I am guilty for NOT doing more for him.My good friend used “tough love” and her son was found under a freeway bridge after a few weeks being there during a very hot heat wave we were experiencing, SHE was not able to see him for the last time due to the damage his body was in; people going by the area were complaining about a bad odor, later a fire man went under and discovered his body, we have had many deaths here in Santa Barbara due to homelessness and overdoses.

mjb August 10, 2010, 9:49 PM

Nothing wrong with natural consequences. Let him stay there for the weekend or so. I mean, he’s 17 so I’m sure he’s in Juvie. Who knows. If mommy keeps bailing him out, what good does it do? And his dad is risking his life for our country while his son is being a punk and stealing cars? High 5 that mom! He broke the LAW!! If a 17 yr old had murdered someone or raped someone, would the naysayers reply differently? Break the law, get punished. And there’s a problem…where?

stinkybrat41 August 11, 2010, 6:42 PM

I worked in a prison for 16 yrs.- it is one of the least pleasant places anyone can go to. That being the case, If my “spoiled” son pulled a “bone-head” move like that young man did Hell yeah I’d let him sit in there for a bit. Waiting to be arraigned is bad enough and actually having to stand before a judge (especially if it’s their 1st time) should scare them straight at least a lil’ bit teenagers havea “super-man” complex where they don’t think it can happen to them so those who step over that line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior need a firm wake up call.For some it may get them right back on track for others, well, it may just become a way of life. the down side of this lil’ experiment is: Jail is a dangerous,nasty place but if they survive- it can make them feel as though they’re alright and they learn how to be slicker the next time and just not get caught. Which of course is not the point of jail but it is what some come away with as a lesson.

Nancy August 13, 2010, 11:21 AM

Way to go mom, this is what more parents need to be doing. Kids today get away with too much……….

Tristan's Mommy August 17, 2010, 9:59 PM

I’m late coming in on this but it doesn’t shock or upset me that this kid had to sit in jail. I think it depends on the kid and the crime. If it wasn’t typical for the child and depending on the crime, sure. If the kid’s become a problem child, let him sit. But getting a kid out on bail doesn’t mean they don’t get punished. Bail just lets them out until the court date WHEN their punishment for the crime will be decided.

Ami August 24, 2010, 8:21 AM

This boy’s dad is sserving our country and putting his life on the line and this little brat decides to steal a car ? I am totally behind mom on her decision.


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