Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Sex Police: This is really expecting too much of probation officers

The average Texas probation officer has about 140 people assigned to them. They don't have time to do home visits, or look for absconders. So realistically, how can rookie District Judge Lauri Blake from Sherman order a 17-year old girl not to have sex as a condition of her probation? Think about it. Whatever your stance on teen sex (and admittedly, when I was a teen, I was for it), can probation officers really enforce that?

When my daughter was 17, I could occasionally hinder but never ultimately dictate any aspect of her dating life (not for lack of trying), and that was as her parent, and a reasonably strict one, while she was living in my house! The notion that a harried, overworked probation officer can supervise a 17-year-old's sex life on top of 139 other cases -- much less derive any relevant information on the subject during regular check-ins -- indicates a near-complete judicial separation from reality. Trying to make some grand statement about teen morals, this judge is turning her courtroom into a public joke

Watch for Judge Blake's next landmark order dictating that, henceforth, the sun shall rise each morning only in the North, so she may better view the vistas across the Oklahoma border.

UPDATE: More at PrawfsBlawg.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the judge didn't order the girl to wear a chastity belt.

Anonymous said...

Well, the whole getting thrown from the bench thing might of had something do with it.

md said...

Well, judges are allowed to impose conditions of probation that relate to the offense and/or ensure the safety of the public. So my question is - what is it about this girl and her sexual proclivities that are a danger to the public? If you take my question sarcastically (which you could), then I imagine she would be pretty angry with me. If you take it seriously, then there could be several arguments on what her having sex could result in (babies, disease, etc.) that some could argue could endanger the public (I suppose). But that would be true of nearly everyone, so under that kind of logic(?), that should be a probation condition for everyone. It appears that the Honorable Judge Blake (I sincerely express public respect for all judges, regardless of whether I disagree with them - they perform a very difficult job that most of us truly don't understand) is trying to get a point across with this girl. I'm sure there are factors at play in this case that we don't know about. Does that make it okay to impose this condition? Probably not. I think with the rights that I'm trying to fight for personally, I would be one of the last people to tell this girl that she can't have sex - strongly advise against it at her age - definitely - but outlaw it? No. If she were convicted of prostitution, that might be a case for such a condition. But this was for drugs - it makes me wonder what the judge's motive is. I believe Judge Drake means well, but like Scott says, how will this be enforced? Strange.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

md, I respect judges, too (I've worked for 22 judicial campaigns), but that order looks to me like evidence of either pure, silly political pandering to a religious right base, or a delusional God complex. Even if one can justify somehow that this girl's sex life endangered the public (and don't let the pro-lifers catch you saying BABIES are a danger!), honestly, any parent knows that just can't be dictated. The judge's order would be more likely to have the desired effect if it had REQUIRED the child to have sex. To go by my own parenting experiences, there's a good chance she would become abstinent out of spite! ;-)