Until I became a single mother at age 41, I enjoyed the selfish dream of using my advanced education, journalism and entrepreneurial skills to help save the world. But in 1986, when my only child, Andrew Chase, was born, my priorities suddenly changed.
As the single parent of an African American boy child, I vowed to keep him out of harm’s way. However, barely into his teens, Andrew, my only child, got arrested. At first I was in denial. But as I watched my son spiral out of control I felt shame, guilt, desperation and anger.
For over a decade, with my son in and out of jails and prison, I have devoted myself to learning about the justice system; meeting those who have also shared my experiences and working with other parents with the hope that they might avoid the pain I’ve suffered.
2 Late 4 Time Out: The Parent’s Guide to Understanding the Juvenile Justice System is the result of my passion to make a difference and the amazing confluence of people I’ve met who have forever changed my life for the better.
Today Andrew, now age 27, enters a new phase of his life: as a young man who is a two-strike felon and the father of an infant son. As his loyal and devoted mother, with God’s blessings, I resolve to help him and the hundreds of thousands of young people trapped in the snare of addiction, association, or asinine behavior that could ruin their lives.