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IOWA Prison & Criminal Justice Discussions Topics and conversations dealing with the State of Iowa - Department of Corrections, Criminal Justice System, Prisoner & Family Support, News & Information, visitation, mail, etc.

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  #1  
Old 05-11-2017, 12:21 PM
LHaase15 LHaase15 is offline
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Default Prior NCO, I'm not permitted to visit.

I have been denied visitation because I am "the victim of a past offense." This is a NCO we had but ended over 6 months ago and he is serving time for something unrelated. I have appealed the decision and wrote a letter I sent with it. I have read the posts on hetero concerning the same issue and am feeling disheartened. I also have tried calling the Warden and left 2 messages. I called his Counselor and 1 message and now her mailbox is full.
I am not liking the responses others have had in the past with the appeals process and my heart is breaking and I feel alone in all this. My last resort is to call victim services who are truly supposed to make the decision but I hear often don't get the appeal and send it straight to the warden.
Any encouragement will help. Thanks for listening.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:52 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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What sort of counseling history are you able to offer up to them to demonstrate you took steps to address issues? What sort of counseling has he had?

Agencies have an obligation to take steps to prevent incidents in the visiting room. Domestic abusers do not always restrict their activities simply because the visit is in a prison visitation area. Full-fledged beatdowns have occurred.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:03 PM
LHaase15 LHaase15 is offline
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Thanks for your reply. I can show that I have been to counseling; maybe I'll just get that and have that if needed. For him they are probably also going to want corrective action documented, although his has been through faith and shows by fruits of the spirit. I'm just praying. I know his Counselor said she would write a letter on his behalf which I am so grateful for.

I'm truly grateful for this website. It has helped me feel less alone, and less judged.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:07 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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It is not a 'get it and have it if needed.' If you have been in counseling with actual credentialed professionals, then it should be an integral part of ANY appeal of the denial.

Him claiming that he is no longer abusive by 'faith,' however is not going to carry the day.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:11 PM
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Thanks. I never have had to deal with anything like this so pardon me for not knowing prison etiquette or what they are looking for. I am going to get the documentation tomorrow and send it in.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LHaase15 View Post
Thanks. I never have had to deal with anything like this so pardon me for not knowing prison etiquette or what they are looking for. I am going to get the documentation tomorrow and send it in.
It's ok...everyone is new to the system at some point. We have all had moments where we sit in complete confusion until it clicks. Don't let it rattle ya.

This is a tough one to have overturned because of the nature of abusive relationships. It's extremely common for victims of abuse to be unable to determine the severity, or reality, of the situation with their abuser. I'm sure, through therapy, you've been exposed to the concepts of enabling, manipulation, co-dependency and the things that cloud the judgement of abuse victims. You're essentially asking them to trust that you aren't working with clouded judgement and that he has learned to appropriately deal with his emotions without abusive behaviour. You can see how that might not be something they just take our word for.

I'm glad to hear you've sought help, it would be ideal if he did, as well. Being incarcerated his options are limited to availability, of course, but any effort is better (on paper) than none. AA, NA, if those apply...anti-violence, insight workshops, ect.

Best of luck to you both.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:37 PM
LHaase15 LHaase15 is offline
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Oh my gosh you're amazing. Good thinking he has been attending 12 step meetings and church while incarcerated whenever possible.
I am trying to obtain my documentation from the credentialed people I met with at the time, but to be honest, my true healing came through 12 step work as well. I was also a contributing party to the issue. No charges were ever filed, just a NCO that is now expired and gave us the time to work on ourselves separately. After the expiration we got back together with no incidents since.

Anyways, you describe the nature of the DV relationship accurately. I am so aware of it that I feel helpless in even trying to explain anything to anyone because I will sound like the typical "victim." No one accepts that it takes 2 to tango or that spiritual programs of action truly is where healing and accountability take place for both parties. I'm not naive or blind, I have a bachelor's in child, Adult, and family services and have researched DV as a special interest to the point of being hypersensitive to any red flag. I love the services and realm of self-growth and am no stranger to therapy.
Sorry I'm rambling now. All that is to say that I'm not an idiot I guess. Lol. And I have to admit it's a bit cathartic to get it out to a complete stranger.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:20 PM
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Anyways, you describe the nature of the DV relationship accurately. I am so aware of it that I feel helpless in even trying to explain anything to anyone because I will sound like the typical "victim." No one accepts that it takes 2 to tango or that spiritual programs of action truly is where healing and accountability take place for both parties. I'm not naive or blind, I have a bachelor's in child, Adult, and family services and have researched DV as a special interest to the point of being hypersensitive to any red flag.
Hon, how long was your therapy? And how much do you know about the neuro-biology of abusers? What particular course that you took described the healing protocols for abusers?

I'm sorry that that comes across as harsh, but the reality is, it is. Why? Because there is no protocol for repairing abusers, no drug, no form of talk therapy. Spiritual programs do exactly nothing to improve the clinical situation. (As a personal side-note, my ex-husband was a born-again preacher and my father an Evangelical United Brethren minister. My father was the utter opposite of abusive, my husband the epitome - narcissistic, thrill-seeking, addicted, totally sans conscience.)

Then there's your "it takes two to tango". Are you assuming that all victims are secretly encouraging the abuse they get? Really? You actually got taught that? Or is that your general assertion because you two were mutually abusive? I realize that does happen, but don't know any authority who suggests that putting two abusers into a relationship is a sane approach to mental health and community safety.

What I'm telling you is that you're your own red flag, apparently relying on your education to make you the special snowflake who's going to repair an abuser. You know the jargon and so think that makes you immune to the abuse or to your own abusing?

Go back to therapy, and stay there for at least a year. The important thing here is your - YOUR - health, not your relationship, and you've got to keep that solidly in mind as you go forward. If you can each survive a year of therapy and apartness (and you can) then maybe you'll be ready for a relationship and you will have created a reservoir on honesty and clarity that will deepen your life.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:58 PM
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Whoa there. I understand where you are coming from, especially due your hints at an abusive husband. I have given no details into my story because I didn't find it necessary. I just wanted to respond to a couple things before I just throw in the towel:
1. I did not attempt to imply ALL victims have a part in their abuse. In fact I believe the opposite. I was simply saying that I (ME only) had a part our story which was hardly abuse. And remember, there is not a dv case here. It's an NCO over a broken phone and a need for space. So please don't assume anything about the nature of my story. It took two to tango in my individual instance of chaos - I know we all have ideas of abuse but my story is not one of those.
2. I studied under the professor who developed the Domestic Abuser program that is now being used in prisons in Iowa. This program isshowing results unlike the pasts Anger Management which did nothing. She was open about the program and it's evaluation. This program as well and Lundy Bancroft's approach have shown some success in change. These are tworking examples that are showing clinical success, just as a response to there is no hope an Abuser can change.
3. Speaking of clinical results, change, and faith based programs - there is plenty of documented success on 12 step programs not only for cessation of compulsion, but of psychic change. (The 12 steps are all spiritual btw). 12 step programs teach that the addiction is a symptom and the real problem lies in self and solution lie in a Higher Power. For alcoholics these 12 steps have made more lasting impact than all counseling or treatment centers combined. 12 step programs and derivatives of sprout up for all types of compulsions and don't claim to have a monopoly on healing - but do have evidence based success I can hardly argue with. Personally, aside from 2 separate counselors, I have worked the steps on a couple areas, one of which relationships/codependency. This is where the rubber met the road for me. There is where the fruits of therapy could all take place, it's a program of action and change that worked for me and countless others.
4. The NCO was for a year and this whole time was filled with counseling and "step work" which are basically counseling worksheets for self reflection and action.

Now my story is not typical. I am making NO ASSUMPTIONS about what anyone else has gone through. I am in no way blaming or shaming any victim of domestic violence. Ive been in abusive relationships in the past and had a lot of work to do before I begin could give myself to someone appropriately. Many people have experiences with abuse that bring bias into hearing and helping another human being, I know because I do too. My "advice" is colored with my experiences without being able to be objective. I brought my past hurts and hangups into a relationship I wasn't ready to have. There is no need for me to change the man I have now, so please don't come at me and be condescending. I'm just another human being trying to navigate life.
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:35 AM
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I've worked in Iowa courts. Iowa courts frequently require abusers to go through a batterer's course. The courts know this is b.s. - nobody gets "better" as a result of going to a batterer's course. However, those offenders who are sent there rarely complete it as completing it is antithetical to the (usually) personality disorder that allows them to batter. It's easier for the courts to say, "you didn't finish, therefor you can't see" and to say after there've been continued incidents of abuse that the determination to allow contact was made after both parties participated in required therapy and not at the whim of the judge reading tea leaves.

Not all 12 step programs are faith based. There are atheist versions of most 12 step programs and they don't require a higher power.

Compulsions and addictions have some overlap but are understood as separate issues. They are also treated as separate issues.

It is highly abnormal for a person to reach out to the state for an NCO without some form of abuse going on. It's highly abnormal for a court to issue more than the emergency NCO without some finding of actual abuse.

Your case doesn't bear the hallmarks of something that falls outside the usual "victim partner seeking to be revictimized" modality that courts see multiple times every day, that prisons see multiple times every day.

Now, if you want to get to see him, you might want to start with a Victim Offender Dialog through corrections. It's a formal program, he has to admit he did wrong (and should check with an attorney to make sure the SOL has run before he does it), and you have to formally state how it impacted you. You'll need to be in formal counseling, last I heard, and he'll get counseling in prison, so there will be a wait to be included in the program. You should not try to deny that anything happened, or that you lied on your NCO statement - lying is a punishable offense, and denial is always read as a victim locked in the cycle of violence. Absolutely, "2 to tango" is always read as a victim locked in the cycle of violence.

Fwiw, most Iowa attorneys went to Iowa or Drake for law school. They know what's cutting edge and what's getting play time in the jails, courts, and prisons and the stats about whether programs and theories work. The stats are still dismal whether its an "abuser will never change" situation or "the relationship will never change" sort of situation (you know, toxic relationships that always run hot don't cool down unless the partners actually break up and stay broken up or one partner's dead). No judge wants a Bride's March type situation on their hands ().

If you have any hope of getting in to see him, you need a victim impact program and to distinguish yourself significantly from every other letter from a refused DV partner they get each and every day.

And, DV includes feeling threatened, intimidated, having property damaged, etc, not just black eyes and broken noses. I don't know how your phone was broken, but if you laid it at his feet, don't minimize it as it was probably the real basis that the courts granted the NCO in the first place.
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