[quote="Viki63, post:9, topic:250355"]
Yes, he is adopted, had neglect, possibly abuse. He has attachment issues, ODD, ADD. I am glad that he is able to show concern for his girlfriend, which he certainly does, though in an immature way. He has a good heart under it all, and I believe he will eventually come through this.
thanks for all the helpful comments.
This may seem like odd advice, but you may want to give a copy of "How to Arrest-Proof Yourself", by Dale C. Carson and Wes Denham, to his girlfriend. Your son has ADD, so he's never going to read it. His girlfriend, OTOH, is going to suffer as much as he does if he insists on being stupid instead of free. She might pick up some smarts and hand them on to him, who knows.
The book is written by a defense attorney who used to be a police officer in Miami and after that was an agent for the FBI. His thesis is that the justice system in the US takes people with bad manners, bad attitude, bad time management skills, and limited resources and gets them into an endless cycle that not only ruins their chances for any future employment other than manual labor, but also bankrupts the parents, wives, and girlfriends who inevitably have to pay for their bail bond and legal bills.
The book explains how to stay out of trouble with the police and out of the criminal justice system, and explains why some people get into the revolving door and ruin their lives with stupid petty offenses, combined with the innocent behaviors and mistakes that people who commit stupid petty offenses are prone to. The author is far too much given to characterizing things like hitting one's girlfriend as a "mistake", he sometimes uses examples that include exactly the same foul language that police hear on the streets from the people they throw into the back of their patrol cars, but it is nevertheless a very practical book that could make a huge difference in both of those young people's lives. (Since the author's willingness to give true examples of strong language could realistically be a selling point that gets the girlfriend or your son's friends to read it, I think it is morally permissible. The language examples are not profane, but rather profoundly vulgar.)
The book explains why, if your son is not going to end up "growing out of this" during an extended stay in a penitentiary, he's going to want to know learn how to stay on the right side of the police. If his girlfriend is not going to be sucked down the drain with him, she'd better learn it and teach it to him. Otherwise, by the time he "learns" he is going to have burned every bridge that could have taken him to a responsible job and a secure future.
You can tell her this: "I don't agree with everything in this book, but I think it could save you both a world of grief. I don't think he'll read it, but if he does something stupid, you're going to pay, too, so maybe this will help you. I know you both want to make your own way, I fear for you, but there is not much to do but to let you do what you're intent on doing and wish both of you the best in the life you've chosen. I only have to say one thing: if my son ever, ever hurts you or makes you afraid of him, leave him. You're going to have to figure out the rest on your own. Good luck."
What does the book teach? Things like...if you are foolish enough to use illegal substances, always leave them at home. If you take restricted drugs as medications, always have proof of prescription with you. If you talk to the police, always be polite and give the minimum information necessary. Be aware how very little it takes to be charged with resisting arrest, evading arrest, or assault on a police officer, and avoid those behaviors. Do not let anyone provoke you...and realize that some police officers will try to provoke you. Don't cruise around in beaten up cars with three other young males. If you're going to party, always party at home or in the home of a friend, and stay there. If you and your girlfriend start having a fight, leave before one of you loses his or her temper.
And so on. Just the kind of thing you'd think your son's lawyer wish your son would have known, in order to not have needed a lawyer in the first place. Honestly, it is full of the kind of things that kids should probably be taught before they are ever allowed to roam the world without supervision, but perhaps believable because it does not come directly from a parent, but from a guy who used to make a living throwing people like your son in jail. I wish it were not so, but in an age when merely being arrested can haunt you for life, and in which police are rewarded for their skill at making arrests, I am afraid that it is.
It may not work, but if anyone in your son's circle keeps a clean record because they paged through that book, it will be worth it.