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She’s Across the Country and Wants Us to Bail Her Out

Handcuffs woman arrested

Allies member Hope101 wants guidance on how to help her daughter who is incarcerated on the other side of the country, and addicted to methamphetamines.

"My addicted 37-year-old daughter is incarcerated, in our county jail, her hearing isn't until Feb.11, 2018, it is considered federal charges. Her bond was reduced to 5000.00 and is asking that we bail her out. She was taken in because of a recent outstanding warrants, picked up in New York where she had been left by a man she barely knew, no phone, money or ID. We live in Iowa, where I had filed a missing person report and they found her there. Two weeks later she was extradited back (her saying it was a horrendous trip back) She has been in jail a total of 38 days as of now. She has nowhere to go except our home. My heart wants to bring her home and give her love and support. Our relationship has been estranged and difficult for the most part during her active use. She has never been in recovery, until now in jail. Our mental health and rehab programs here are poor to say the least. She is scared and desperate to reconnect with her children (son 17, daughter 13) her siblings and extended family. Her DOC is meth…which has been a 3-year roller coaster from hell. My gut tells me this would be inviting a train straight through our home, even though she has made progress in writing and apologizing to her loved ones, talking about counseling and going to meetings. My husband and son are against it. My other daughter knows the concerns making this choice, thinks maybe it is time to step in and show her love and compassion. My husband and I both are still working, we live in a rural area, and feel this will make her feel isolated and lead to relapsing. We do not have a car for her to use, not sure that would be an option anyway. She has been in and out of our home over the past 3 years, only staying a few days at a time. She has never stolen from us before, but her charges are burglary and theft, which breaks my heart and is dishonest behavior. I know that she is innocent until proven guilty, but this present trust issues. I would love your input, I just don't know how Craft can help us work through this crisis."

I am sorry for your family. Your daughter is in a bad way. She’s in jail in NY awaiting a hearing that isn’t slated for another 4 months. You are very worried and are considering bailing her out. 

She would come home to your house in Iowa. 

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and devastating drug. Your daughter has been struggling with it for over 3 years. It is a difficult drug to treat. 

I was able to talk to a senior ranking nurse in New York State who is in charge of over a dozen jails throughout NY. I don’t personally know the state of NY very well and sought her out.

The Nurse suggested you reach out to the social worker or discharge planner at the jail. Jails have one or the other. You need to stress that your daughter is at huge risk due to her mental health. She is without support in NY; without family. She is likely to harm herself. She needs to be moved into a residential program in the NY area. 

Reaching someone at the jail won’t be easy. The nurse said you might need to push to get someone on the phone. If nothing works, I have the Senior Nurse’s number and would be willing to reach out again.

If you could be assured she would be moved to a residential treatment program, perhaps you then pay the bail. With charges hanging over her, she would need to stay put until her hearing in February, at the very least. 

The short of it is you need the jail’s help to decide what is best. If they won’t help you, I actually think staying in jail until February may be the safest answer for you and for her. Your daughter has been on a drug run. There are consequences for this. She has landed in jail, which is not the right place for her. She is not violent or much of a criminal but she made some bad decisions and this is where society has put her. 

Your home is not treatment. Your family is not able to address an active meth user. You love her dearly and want what is best. Let her feel the effects of her actions for now. Let her feel where the drug has taken her. It’s jail or treatment. She’s actually safer in jail then on the streets.
I don’t recommend just paying the bail and letting her come home. It is a heartbreaking choice for you to have to make. Your daughter acknowledges the problem, has apologized, and has attended some self-help. These are good first steps for her to be taking.

Let us know what you learn. CRAFT can definitely help, but first let’s see what is possible. 



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. Dear Hope 101:

    I must concur with Dominique’s assessment here. As someone who has been part of the Substance Use Treatment world here in the Commonwealth for the past decade, I can tell you that State subsidized treatment options are not available in many other States in the country to the extent they are here. What that means is that you will be hard pressed to intervene successfully with nowhere for her to go other than your house. Successful Residential Rehabilitation takes at least a year of commitment, and even then, most professionals look at successful aftercare involving many years, and consistent follow-up. You will be hard pressed to establish a viable, verifiable treatment plan at a distance, and that seems like your situation currently. Recognize that your daughter no doubt would prefer your house to a cell, but like Dominique points out, she is currently as safe as she can be while incarcerated.
    If you were in Massachusetts, there would/could be options, but the Department of Health Residential programs require Commonwealth residency. Breaking out of a pattern of behavior, especially ones that surround Meth use, is very difficult. At this point, I would re-iterate what Dominique has already said…. bringing her home is a recipe for disaster, and I don’t see any real benefits, and some real potential down-sides. Good luck with this… these decisions are the most difficult to make. I would also suggest a viewing of the recent film that comes from a wonderful author… “Beautiful Boy” by David Sheff. You are not alone!!

  2. Dominique, I’m sorry I must not have been clear in my story, my daughter is not in NY, she was extradited back to Iowa where we live. She is being held in our county jail. It all comes out to the same outcome..she is safer there. She did call me today and wants me to talk to a recovery unit we have here..she wanted me to inquire if they could come to the jail and do an assessment for treatment so when she gets out she can be proactive in her recovery and have things lined up to go ASAP. I’m happy to hear her wanting to get help. Hopefully it will have family counseling available to us as her family as well. Thank you so much for your input, I value your opinions and it made me feel good to know I have someone to brainstorm with. God Bless!

    1. Dear Hope101: I’m sorry I misunderstood where your daughter was being held. It does sound like jail however is providing a pause in the action and she is thinking about her future in constructive ways. It doesn’t matter much where she is being kept, the ideas in this post still work. It is still worth seeing if the jail would facilitate a move to a residential program as a condition of her bail. Perhaps it’s a long shot in that jail. It is still one action you can take. Let us know how you fare.

    2. Dominique has given good advice. I have finally locked my son out of my house. Its taken quite sometime for this to happen. The past 9 days have been very bad. No more texting, talking on the phone, no more thoughts how I can get him to get help. He is so smart and can figure this out on his own, he has to feel the consequences
      as Dominique has said. Now I have to make it happen for my son.I sadly do believe jail is safer than the streets. And let me say this is so hard! My 30 yr old son likes meth, suboxone, pot, adderall to snort.
      The last week has done it. I CAN’T HELP HIM.Hes also 4 yrs newly diagnosed with type1 diabetes.
      I dont know where he’s insleeping, eating, NOTHING. With prayer, commitment, this site, naranon, my therapist, my few close friends, my other son, im going to take it a day at a time.
      After breaking door in half, trashing everything in his path to leave i realized I. WANT. MY. LIFE.BACK!I want him to want his life back.

      1. You had enough and made your son leave your home. It wasn’t easy for you or for him. He didn’t leave quietly. You don’t know where he is sleeping or what he is living on.

        A day at a time sounds like the right idea. I understand feeling exhausted and fed up. Perhaps you take some time to clean up your house, make his room yours, and get your strength back.

        With CRAFT, we talk about building and maintaining a bridge between you. I hope things will quiet down and that you can step back in when you’re ready…..Read Dominique Simon-Levine’s full response to 1delapisa here: