Living with 290: Advice, please

I feel so very sad for my son. He was in prison on pumped up accusations and now has a monitor on. He has suvere nightmares and PTSD. Because of the Covid19 he can’t get into mental health or get any medicine for anxiety. He was told at sentencing his parole would be 3 or 5 years but they bumped it up to 10. Can he ever get the parole lowered? Can he get the monitor off soon? Will he be able to get an out of county transfer? He has never even met his PO! He’s told to only communicate with the PO by text. So, he’s never had his terms and conditions explained. Frankly, I think the longer he doesn’t have any personal contact with the PO the better. When he checked in with parole the monitor was in a plastic bag by the parole door and he got a text it was for him. No personal contact. Will this go on for ten years? Where can he reach out for help? He can’t get the disability going because the social security is closed. He can’t get the drivers license renewed because the DMV is closed. He can’t go kayaking or surfing because his PO said no beach activities. He crys. I cry. Any suggestions would be appreciated. And, BTW, I have NEVER gone to look at any of the sites that put this info on as I believe they are a violation of the Constitution and our admendments and serve only for people to get harrassed. When will California stop the public registration? It’s wrong.

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I had draconian parole conditions placed upon me when I was released from prison. I was very much in your son’s boat emotionally. I’d lost my career because of parole conditions. I felt completely hopeless. I had nightmares (I still have them). However, I got used to the conditions over time and adjusted. Your son will too. It will get easier for him once offices start to reopen and human contact will resume. The parole office does not want to supervise your son via text message any more than he does.

Incidentally, one can file for social security disability over the phone. I don’t know how but I know it has been done. Also, for the time being, he can drive (in California at least) on an expired license.

If I understand it correctly your son never was sent to prison but placed on parole for 10 years. Well, it is what it is and he will just have to learn to live with it. I know that sounds harsh but it’s better to expect him to be strong and survive. He can do it. He’s very lucky to have your support and that will make it even easier.
He shouldn’t require mental help for the stress of being on parole and why would he need disability if he can still go kayaking or surfing?

BTW, I imagine the DMV is allowing automatic extensions while they are closed.
I’ve heard of situations of early release release for monitors and parole depending on favorable recommendations so encourage him not to expect it but see it as a possibility.

If your son is in CA he can renew his driver’s license online:

Been there done that. We have all survived. First things first, read the conditions of your son’s parole very carefully. They will not be very clear as to what he can do and what you can not do. Parole Officers and Law Enforcement Officers do not what their hands tied because of what is WRITTEN down. They love the conditions of parole to be vague, because then they can interpreted them as they want. As for the court setting parole to 3 to 5 years only and then the Parole Officer upping it to 10 years is nothing new. Parole officers want you on parole as long as it take for you to mess up and then they can extend your son’s parole or send your son back to prison. You could hire an attorney to go back to court to ask for a clarification but that will make your sons parole officer mad. The goal right now and until your son is off of parole is to do nothing to make his parole officer upset or mad. The more paperwork they have to do because your son does something he should not, the more your son stays on the parole officer’s radar. Your son needs to be a church mouse on Sunday morning during service. Do nothing to make his parole officer have to look at him at all. This all can be done. Help your son and your self take one day at a time. Help him get the help he needs by making phone calls. A lot of state agencies are closed to the public because of Corona virus 19, but they are taking phone calls to help. You may have to talk to several people till you find someone that will help your son. But stick with it and let him see what you are doing and he will learn to stick with it. Please trust me, if i made it through my 5 years of probation, as well as other on this site, you and your son will survive also. And you will look back like I do and laugh about what I went through. It will pass fast if you both stay busy and work through the issues instead of letting them stop you.

Sadly, this is his new reality, but he’ll get used to it. There’s not much in the way of alternatives to not adapting. I’ve been off parole since ‘97 and have nightmares that I’m locked up again. I also have nightmares about other fears, like loosing my young children at the mall or swimming in the ocean. Such is life.
As the quarantine restrictions lift he’ll enjoy diversions that help him adjust to his new life. He’ll face new challenges, too, like face time with the parole officer.
If he’s got his health and a good mom like you, I’m sure he’ll come out of this as good as anyone else can. Meanwhile, help him count his blessings. I wish you and your son all the best

Your son’s delimna is a sad but I am glad that he is not in prison. One has to wonder. Are many of these law enforcements sucking the tongue of a poison asp or who is being sucked in. Are these authorities being a poison viper with much of this inducement? Yes I’m glad your boy is out of prison or lockup and this moitoring thing is like those that cut off their leg bans and I’m sure things will be alright.

Some people cannot fair well in a prison type situation and yes prison can make or break someone down. I was in jail once for dui and a young boy was in their the say for mudering his parents and yes that does happen from time to time. We all go thru life’s experience but this registry issue about many or much of this sex offense is a bit out of character in many ways. Hey believe it or not the good Lord protects people and your boy will be ok. Their is strength in weakness or should we all say those without sin cast the first stone.. Pre-judging someone is no good. One wonders whats worse self-justification or self-deification by authorities today. I’m sure your boy will be alright. Caring is what people need today so worrying can cause confusion. oh an prayer is good I hate to see a lot of boys or men go thru this.

Support is you and your son’s primary objective and it’s going to be a battle day by day so look out for one another. Both of you need to get as smart as you can, you’re now a part of one of the worst systems ever devised that seems to take 10 steps back for every 1 step forward.

Consider where other people have taken their paths through the system and figure out your own. The ones responsible for this mess built a straight and narrow path where the legal mechanisms are meant to keep people from getting too smart and avoid anyone’s case attracting too much attention.

So only commit to as much of a fight as you wanna put up, times 10. And pray for others on here to find strength in their battles as well.

Join the club. This is what all the fuss is about. This is why ACSOL was formed and what they are fighting for. I see on a weekly basis people who murder people get less time than many of us got, even those with non-contact offenses often get 20 years, and if you kill someone when you are released–voila!! No registry for life. You have done your time and you are good to go. I was a professional, respected in the community, never in any significant trouble before, then this mysterious marvel called the internet was introduced to the world. I had no idea the consequences waiting for me for recklessly clicking a mouse. This year our numbers should reach 1,000,000 people on the registry. With people like Janice we are set to become a sizable political entity. Stay with us and we will realize the true meaning of the title to ACSOL–the Association for Constitutional Sex Offender Laws. Not abusive, oppressive, whimsical, politically agenda driven, draconian laws, but laws that fit the crime.

You and your son will learn to live life with restrictions.
You are both new to all this, it seems over-whelming in the beginning, but it will get better.
Important, get help for your son if he needs it. There are plenty of mental health counselors out there that are doing video chat, telemedicine, etc.
Navigating probation is a learning process and while it’s best to get on board quickly, educate yourself about your restrictions, set goals with your PO, etc, some people are tougher than others. Some people act quickly, others curl up in a ball for awhile and cry a lot. As a mom you need to provide firm, loving support and encouragement, it will get better as you both learn the system.
Life is not over, just different .
Stay strong.

It’s all about how much you can tolerate. The most difficult aspect of it is finding a way to not take it all personally. All these laws are just a direct refection of societies’ pervasive outrage culture.

Just never let anyone (especially law enforcement) use fear, guilt or shame as a weapon against you.

As far as filing for Social Security disability, you have several options. Their phone lines are open, but the wait time on hold can easily be 2 hours. Some who qualify can file online after meeting eligibility requirements. You can contact a disability attorney that will handle all the filing for you, but if you’re approved, a percentage of your award to that point will go to the attorney for their fee. If you still nee help, your representative in Congress has a liaison person dedicated to helping their constituents with applying for Social Security. Hopefully you already have a current file with a history of your medical conditions that qualify you for Social Security. These days it’s common for Social Security cases to take up to 3 years for approval unless a doctor states you are terminally ill.

If he is applying for Social Security because he is old enough for retirement benefits, then the process is much easier and faster.

I have been in this zoo for 30 years. First and foremost your son needs to be respectful to the PO and at the beginning it be very hard, especially if the PO is a jerk, however in time it will work out to his benefit. Do not have a petty party that just make things worst.

This article reminds me somewhat of my ordeal. I was not sent to prison nor jail and yes my sister has shown her support and love in many ways. Of course there’s nothing more important than a mothers love. Yes there is a lot of good advice on here that many have mentioned. Even facts should matter talks about the guilt factor and Sac’s comment is very straight forward. We all go thru testings in life many times but the good seems to come out of bad. At times guilt can even shame authorities. I’m just glad your son is out of prison during this ordeal and back home. Things will be alright.

Sure love is the key to much of this with you and your son and yes while we all have moral’s and ethnics we all can share viewpoints. One pastor I met and explained my situation to said just forget about it and press on for the better. We can all be impressed with the work Janice and her team does and I have to say her and her team do care about true justice, and yes nothing takes the place of a parent or parents love.


As you may learn there are over 100,000 of us out here in California. Some do not make it, but most do. Build a strong support network. Follow the mandated rules, even the dumb ones. Take one day at a time. Believe in yourself. Parole will through loops at you but just know you are not alone. Stay connected with this website. Dig into your required classes and keep going. Once this corona event eases, go places you are allowed. Ask questions of those of us who have been successful. You will develop routines that get you through. We believe in better inspite of what society says.

The registry is a nightmare indeed. However you said you do not to go on the site. I fully understand however I would like to say as the mother you may want to so that you can confirm that what is stated is correctly inputted. As hard as it is the website does make mistakes…such as saying Registrant is in violation when they are not. Its hard but when you feel able you need to because your son or any registrant is not allowed to. Also you may be surprised and possibly find others in your area which done delicately you may be able to connect and able to have a support group. But that would need to be done very delicately. Stay strong and safe. Your reaching out here is a good step…..

Amidst all the comments… this is stupid though, so stupid. Yes I know there are laws. These laws are enacted by those trying to control us… the ones without political power, the ones without millions or billions, the ones only looking after themselves.

To whoever wrote the original post (no name or source given), hang in there, get pissed at those who wrote laws and those who elected those that wrote the laws.

I’m the mom who wrote that. He has been on disability since 18 months old because of the epilepsy. I go to eplisoy support groups and everyone there has the same experience: no seizures in the water. That is why I have always encouraged surfing and kayaking. However, since the monitor can’t be submerged then water therapy is out. He has had job offers but in different counties. We are hoping once he can actually make a relationship with his PO he can relocate to a county where he has a job offer. In the meantime everything is closed, that’s all I’m saying. Does anyone on here actually have an idea when the PO’s will be in their offices again?

hey mom, first off your son has an awesome mom!! I had an awesome wife and mom that helped me through this! As you know your son needs you as his cheer leader. He will get through this, and as hard as it seems and it is hard it will get easier for you guys! I’ve been on this since 1997 my older was 10 and now she’s 33. Starting in January there will be a tiered system. No its not ideal but Janice is making headway in helping us. You are correct the founders never envisioned the idea of a life time punishment after you served your sentence but here we are!! First off tell your son his offense/conviction does not define who he is as a person. That’s important that he knows that. Only his actions from today forward defines him as a person. Secondly find his terms of probation/parole. Go by it to a T. Dont sway from it!! If your son is considered tier 1 he will get off the registry in ten years but two parole violations or a violation for not registering can make him register for life!! Most of us in here did not have that carrot to follow and some in here still dont!! If you have questions this is the place for it. If you need to vent this is the place for it and we offer no legal advice bc we aren’t lawyers except for janice!! Hang in there

Hey Mom,
I have been off parole for 8 years now. Hated every day of that monitor. Got and lost MANY jobs when they “found out”. Now I work in a company where they KNOW and life is much better. No worry they will find out. It’s VERY HARD to find, but I am in the position to hire and fire ALL EMPLOYEES now. What county are you in? I will hire your son if you are in Los Angeles. Job is the #1 thing he needs to make him feel worth something. It will get better.

Hey Mom, you let your son with epilepsy get on a surf board in the middle of the ocean? What if he has a black out? His probation officer would be the least of his worries at that point.

Sometimes a shift in thinking is necessary to get through supervision, especially at first. I’ve seen many young guys in the waiting room at the PO office all bent out of shape, angry, stressed, etc. about the rules and seeming stupidity of the rules/restrictions/obligations.

Biggest advice I was able to give them, and to you and your son, is this: Any interaction with PO where you can walk away at the end is a good interaction. That’s the goal of this – step by step to do what’s necessary to keep your freedom (whatever freedom you have) and not to get locked up again.

I know it sounds silly to set the goal so low, but when you are face-to-face (or face-to-screen) with a PO, it only can take a split second for things to turn bad and for the handcuffs to come out. Having the proper attitude is key, and any other desire your son has must be pushed behind the desire to have the correct attitude to stay free.


The truth is it doesn’t get any better after probation ends he’ll still be a 290 registrant and will never be accepted in society.
The only thing that gets easier is accepting that fact that your life is never gonna be the same.
I’m not shore what your son’s situation is but hopefully its only a 10/20 year ride ..

Rereading this article and the many posts are of benefit. Yes I was on SSDI disability and I wonder why they took me off of it. Course my sister is the tyre of person that is always quick with the answer which turns out to be wrong in many ways. While I can’t say anything good or bad we at times have a failure to communicate.

This 290 thing out in CA. is a bit over rated and a bit out of balance for anyone that is going thru this. Sure I’m looking for my release in two years but anything can happen. Giving love and care to your son is the best thing many can do. Helping him be productive very welcoming. Yes as I have said I feel sad as their are many cases that a mother goes thru with their sons or daughters, and at time doesn’t know what to do but guidance is very important. One thing the bible says think of others better than yoruself and don’t let the world run over you. I know a gal that is on life time probation for drinking, stealing, and druging and gets into trouble somehow.

Hey we are all blessed that are able to post to help encourage others in these types of ordeals or to just talk about them. While we all can take the bitter with the sweet I’m sure Janices team and the many others are their to help as well. For me involved in all this I like to use what spiritual guidance and insight I have from the good book. Sure their are times when I fall down, but than again one has to pick themself up, and mom I’m sure you can be the best impression and support on your son. Happy mothers day.

Does parole delibertly change and harass the parolees hoping they comit sucide? That’s what I believe.

Jm from WI ~ You have a point here, I guess. Don’t give them any ammo to add stipulations, but how can someone not be mad at rules that they make up and no judge ever ordered? I guess, it is a tough call, and one only the person involved can make. Even if you took it to court, the judge will most likely side with the PO saying that if he thinks it is in the best interest of safety, etc. Still, a long time ago, when my fiancé was still on probation, I researched this topic, and it clearly states that probation rules have to be directly related to the offense. So, saying no Internet access, for example, for someone whose offense had nothing to do with the internet is not reasonably related to the offense and it can’t be an excessive burden. They will still always find a way to enforce it, regardless.