I haven't posted in awhile, but I feel like I need the support of this community right now. My very problematic stepson (still not sure on diagnosis exactly, but something like high functioning autism as well as a cluster B personality disorder similar to antisocial personality disorder), who is now 16, tried to kill his father and threatened to kill me about 2 years ago, and then went on to get multiple assault charges, an arson charge for trying to light the building his biological mother was living in on fire and a first degree rape charge for raping a three-year-old girl. The prosecutor decided to bundle of his charges into one case, which means that every time he got a new charge, everything would be pushed back. It has been a long, difficult process. The court case literally just finished this week with all of the crimes that he has been charged with so far. Basically, the only thing that happened was that he was enrolled in a program called SSODA for 24 months. When he committed his first crime, taking a knife to school, he was enrolled in a similar program called diversion where he had to do certain things in order for them to clear the charge because it was his first charge. He failed most aspects of diversion, even though we were constantly in contact with his diversion counselor, and when he tried to kill his father, the diversion counselor just cleared his original charge! What a waste of time and resources that program is. So, this program is basically the same thing except with sex offender therapy on top of it. Everything else that is included as part of this program, such as not being able to access the internet, not being able to have porn, etc. was part of his probation, so he has been doing that for quite a while. The only change is sex offender therapy. I'm having a really strong emotional reaction to this sentence, and I'm not even entirely sure why. This has been a really long process, and part of it is I'm not sure why they didn't start sex offender therapy when he plead guilty and when they obviously had DNA that proved he was guilty. They waited 2 years to start specialized therapy, that they now think will help. This child has been in therapy as long as I have known him, on a constant, weekly basis. He is living in a facility for kids with severe behavioral issues that they can't place anywhere else, and he has regular therapy & group therapy at that location as well. (It is not specifically a secured facility, though he is required to have an adult with him at all times, but I know that other kids in the facility have gotten out and walked to their parents house before their parents were even notified.) So how is this going to change things? How is this justice for the little girl? I'm not saying that prison would change anything, but I just don't understand why the system is so broken. Why do they think that additional therapy that he has been soaked in since he was 9 years old is going to make the community any safer or help him? If they thought this specific type of therapy was going to make any difference, why did they wait 2 years to start it? I have been a peer counselor for vulnerable women for over 20 years, so I know very intimately what that little girl faces for the rest of her life because of what my stepson did. Why didn't they listen to us or take his behavior/crimes seriously when we warned them before she was even hurt? I love him and I still want the best for him, but my heart aches for that little girl. She didn't deserve to be the fallout.