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Living with 290

Living with 290: Pulling the Rug Out from Under Me (and my family) – UPDATED

I was just released three months ago. My father came to be with me for the first week, as he had moved out to Texas for his job some years ago. He, along with the rest of my family who live locally, wanted to help me settle in.

The day after my release, I reported to the parole offices as required, where my father and I were hoping to discuss my housing options with my PO. We waited four hours after leaving a message to his office before finding out he wasn’t going to be in and I would have to see the officer of the day. After speaking with her, she had me sign my paperwork acknowledging my static score as a “3” (which I had also done weeks earlier on prison), fitted me for a monitor, and notified me that as a “3” I could not live within 250 ft. of a school or park. That was much more lenient than some of the horror stories I had heard on the news and when I told my father I could see the relief wash over his whole body. This meant I could go live with my aunt. It was going to be okay (relatively) after all.

We got on the freeway to head to my aunt’s, when suddenly my phone rang. It was my PO, who we had hoped to see five hours prior. I introduced myself and he asked where I was headed. When I notified him, he went ballistic and told me I couldn’t go there because my static score was just changed to a “4” two days ago. I asked why, I told him I had just finished signing paperwork re-iterating my static score as a “3.” He said the decision was made just days ago and that I couldn’t live within a 1/2 mile of a school or park. He told me to get off the freeway and find someplace to meet him. We went to Starbucks (hoping that would be okay) and he met us an hour later to have me sign my new paperwork and tell me there was a place in Torrance he was trying to get me into, or else a seedy motel in Alhambra that costs $80 a night.

Fortunately(?), there was a bed in Torrance available. I’ve been living here ever since. There are roaches everywhere, the furniture was so ratty and infested we had to finally throw it all out last week (and there’s no replacements).

Every morning I wake up, I find more blood stains from the bedbugs on my sheets. I don’t even bother washing them anymore, I just get new sheets every week (I am working). My father was openly weeping upon his departure because of the conditions he had to leave his only son in. Now Sacramento is finally investigating this place after a PO found a bedbug in his car after a house check. But if they shut this place down, where can I go? My aunt keeps asking if I can move in with her, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be permitted to while on parole.

Why did my static score change? I thought it was based on an assessment of my crime, so if nothing changed, why was I abruptly upgraded with no notification? I didn’t do anything during my incarceration to warrant this. Can anyone explain this to me and help me understand this any better?

UPDATE

So after three months of living in roach-infested, bedbug-riddled transitional housing in Torrance, PAROLE couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t even wash my bedsheets – it was so futile I just bought new sheets every week because there would be so many bedbug/blood stains (Yes, I have pictures). Parole ceased paying rent for their charges so long as they continue to live in conditions that are hazardous to their officer’s health when they do house checks (but I was paying my own rent and still expected to pay). My PO wouldn’t even get out of his car the last time he saw me, but he made it abundantly clear that I need to find somewhere to go within days, because parole was set to shut the place down. I have been working, and I still have a strong support system of friends and family, so I located a motel that complied.

Days later parole was set to do a final inspection to see if the transitional house should remain open. In the meantime, the transitional housing had an exterminator come to spray the apartments, hoping to sweep the dirt under the rug and hope the inspection misses it. This required us to bag all our belongings and get it out of the apartment. With everything packed and a shut down apparently imminent, I decided to check into the motel. My PO was relieved as it’s much more sanitary. But I’m paying $350/week, so even with splitting the rent with my father and working overtime, I’m barely breaking even. I’m trying to find more permanent lodgings in L.A. county, and my PO told me he’d try to find another transition house if I can’t find something, but he visited yesterday and asked if I would be willing to go transient if it doesn’t work out (No).

I went back to the apartment a couple times to get mail and my bike. Roaches still roam around. I didn’t go to the bedroom. The director of the housing was there one time and asked why I left after he hooked me up with a job (Apparently, telling me to get a job so I could pay my own rent qualifies as hooking me up with a job). I told him I was tired of bedbugs biting me and having to see a doctor every other week to be treated for the scabies that resulted. He asked where I went, then told me it was illegal to go to a motel. I told him my PO advocated this move and he tried to continue implying that my freedom was in jeopardy. It wouldn’t surprise me if he tries to sabotage my employment. My PO insists the shut down is imminent.

So here I am. Nervous, but (physically) relieved. No more break-outs on my limbs, but hoping my car holds up, or else I’m screwed. I’ve been inquiring about my abrupt static-99 score change that instigated this housing restriction in the first place, but my PO tells me I need to confer with Sharper Future, Sharper Future tells me to talk to Parole. My PO at one point indicated that a static score can’t change, but quickly relented when I pointed out that it had changed already. I’ll continue to press the issue.

I know it may seem tacky, but if anyone knows of some kind of housing in Los Angeles county (south of the San Gabriel mountains), I would greatly appreciate it if you could mention it in the comments section. Your encouragement and advice for my last story really helped me get much farther in my static-99 struggle than I thought possible. To all directly or indirectly struggling with this, stay strong. It’s always darkest before the dawn. I can at least take solace that when I can finally secure adequate, sanitary housing, I will be much more grateful for it than if I had just walked into it immediately after release.

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I feel for you! Being a registered citizen today in California is no joke! It’s been over 20
0 years for me/but I had mine expunged ect. Just do the best you can and don’t violate the law! With all the news regarding registered citizens today, I would be petrified to even think about breaking the law! Good luck!

If you can get another evaluation from a referred doctor via parole/probation that might help a judge give you relief by granting you a lower level. What do you stand to loose to request reduced requirements while on paper? Try to gain your PO as an ally but realize his position isn’t one to make things easier. Janice or Chance are attorneys and better qualified to give you guidance. My ideas might be in the right direction but their wisdom will guide you the best.

With regard to their apparently arbitrary change of your Static-99 score, I would strongly recommend that you contact a lawyer to argue with your P.O. and get some answers. I had a probation officer that tried all sorts of crap and I had a lawyer who successfully beat back each of those crappy requirements that they tried to hang on me.

Re: David From what little I do understand, I don’t believe my PO was involved with my abrupt static-99 score change. He seemed very frustrated by the decision himself since it makes his job that much harder, and he’s overworked as it is. Making housechecks is incredibly inconvenient for him since I’m way out of his way, and I don’t think he’s that good of an actor, nor do I see a reason for him in pulling a deception. In fact, he had my risk assessment (not my static score) decreased in just the first month because of my good… Read more »

My heart hurts for you. Just take it one day at a time. You may be on parole, but you still have rights. If I were in your shoes, I would consult an attorney. Don’t let the fear of your nasty agent get you down. You are doing great! I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

At first, my PO lied to me and put me through a lot of false crap, maybe to see what I’d do when I became angry or discombobulated; perhaps hoping he could just shove my file off his desk and me back into prison. Be cool and over-comply. After a couple of months, ask for a better place. After 6 months with no violations, your Parole Officer may actually treat you more respectfully. 6 months is a big milestone. Unfortunately, they’ll switch you to a different Parole Officer after a year or so, and you’ll have to start all over… Read more »

That’s cool that they let you have contact. I was kept away from my child for the entire three years of my parole. In fact, they went as far as to name her by name in my parole terms even though my case was one with a fictitious victim and had nothing to do with my child in the first place.

Hey there, Stick in there. I went from being assured that I could stay in one county and live with my parents to being told I was going to another county and had to be 2000ft from schools. I was in a crappy motel for 2 weeks and then ended up in a horrible group home. In that time, I looked at about 500 places online and finally convinced an older lady to rent out her garage to me (her son, now 40 had once gotten into trouble and she wanted to give me a second try). My PO, who… Read more »

Want to have “fun” with your PO? Go to http://transparentcalifornia.com type in their name, and then find interesting ways to work the search results into your next conversation!

Thank you, everyone, for your words of encouragement. Based upon a few of your recommendations, I sought out legal counsel and will be trying to look into how my static-99 score was assessed both times to locate where the discrepancy was made. Hopefully, this will lead into my being allowed to live with my aunt.

Thank you again, one and all, amd good luck to everyone.

What a horrible situation.

You should be able to get an official Static-99 re-assessment from another qualified social worker or MFT. But first, you should do a self-evaluation of your own and maybe find the discrepancy. Here’s a link to the assessment (use the “Static-99r coding form” link, which is the most current) – http://www.static99.org

I’ve had a number of validated (and one non-validated) assessment currently available done. The validated assessments have me at 0-1 risk level (low risk), while NY State’s non-validated assessment places me at level 2 (moderate risk).

We were never given a Static 99R. Isn’t it supposed to be given prior to sentencing? Also, it has to be a qualified scorer. We were still told he was high risk per the Static 99R, yet nobody administered it. Any advice?

My first Static-99 assessment happened without my knowledge during a phone interview with a probation intake specialist while I was in jail just prior to my sentencing hearing. Happened again about 4 weeks later during my intake interview for counseling. For the test to be valid in court, it needs to be completed by a licensed individual, but don’t let this stop you from a self-evaluation. I had an attorney set this up for me with a social worker while in NY. The evaluation is not difficult, you’ll just need to be very honest. Just a few questions and some… Read more »

Yes, a self examination is in order. Although the premise that these questions determine your real risk is arguably subjective, the questions themselves are objective and verifiable. For example, you either had a prior or not, your victim, if you had one, is either male or not. You offense happened when you were in a defined age range and not another age range. And if you were such an age, your score is thus, If you had a prior your score is thus. if your victim was a male, your score is thus. There is no subjective evaluation of any… Read more »

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