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"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rules of the Road
Posted by:Ken Sutton--Thursday, July 19, 2007

My child has returned home recently from a 1 month rehab and 4 month stay at a halfway house. As a condition of returning home I suggested some changes to the baseline Conditions of Supervision that the probation officer (Lloyd) usually uses. We reviewed and adjusted the rules together to get to this final document before it was presented to my child. Names and specifics have been changed.

A lot of these changes were gleaned from other professionals and parents over the years who have shared their wisdom.

I have used a planning methodology called SMART in the past. It was an acronym for Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely. I tried to apply these principals to all of the goals.

One of my favorite quotes is "Men plan, God laughs". I have annotated the rules so you can see how it is going so far.
These conditions of supervision my be amended at the discretion of the Probation Officer. We are expecting changes to be made in the short term (this leaves the door open if you forget anything)

1) Obey all laws.
2) Do not leave Allegheny County without the permission of the probation officer. Exception: in the company of his parents or with parents permission to a border county.

3) Advise the probation officer IMMEDIATELY of any change in address or telephone number.
4) Do NOT possess or employ firearms, fireworks, weapons, or other instruments of crime.
5) Adhere to the following curfew: 24 hour house arrest until further notice. Travel only with parents.

6) No driving until further notice. (this one is tough, it takes a lot of driving to support all of meetings and therapy and the house arresst means no rides from friends to meetings. It does help in establishing the goal of what do you need to do to get a car)

7) Socialize only with peers that the parents and Probation Officer approve of and DO NOT socialize with those that are known to use illegal substances or those who are known to commit crime. No phone, letters, email, IM, facebook, myspace messages or face-to-face with unapproved peers. Unapproved peers include but are not limited to: LIST UNAPPROVED PEERS HERE.

a) Males-until further notice (this one is very difficult to enforce - in discussions with the PO we decided to drop it after two weeks)
b) L
c) C
d) S

8) Call sponsor every day during the first phase of Probation; call other recovering peers each day; join a Home Group and attend Home Group Meetings.

9) Make contact with the Probation Officer daily including holidays and weekends via phone. Report to the probation officer as directed and agree that the probation officer may visit at any time.

10) Notify the probation officer within forty-eight hours of being questioned or arrested by a law enforcement officer.


12) Do not possess or consume alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, or any other illegal drugs.

13) Submit to random Drug & Alcohol Urinalysis or saliva testing by parents or Probation Officer.

14) Submit to search by Probation Officer or parents if requested.

15) Complete community service at the mission trip 7/23-7/27.

16) Attend at least one recover related activity per day. Attend 12 step meetings from Prayer to Prayer.

17) Follow all discharge recommendations of

18) Make sure that a parent approves of all activities and plans. There should be no unapproved or unaccounted for time. Treat Parents with respect.

19) Accomplish the following educational and/ or vocational goals: to be determined

20) Complete a D&A Intensive Outpatient Counseling Program:

21) Enroll in and participate in an therapy or counseling approved by Probation Officer and Parents. Develop a written plan by 8/7/07 and review that plan with your support team. (this was designed to make sure they own their own health issues)

22) Attend one church service on a weekly basis at .

23) Establish a workout plan and visit the gym minimum 3 times per week.

24) Attend the drama workshops on Thursday night at .

25) Cell phone is only to be used for recover activities. Do not erase phone numbers from phone memory. Do not accept restricted calls. Provide phone to be reviewed when requested. Leave phone on kitchen table at night.

26) Do not use the house phone.

27) Do not use the Internet.

28) Asleep by midnight and up by 8 AM or as needed to make recovery commitments.

29) Make and keep all Dr. appointments. Take care of health needs.

30) Keep a day timer of daily commitments.

31) Move property from halfway house to home by 7/15

32) Assist with moving to upstairs bedroom. By 7/23

(these two were included so the child could own all of the responsibility of moving back home. This worked well - it gave a great focus for the first two weeks)

33) Help with weekly house chores and home repair projects as needed.

34) Keep your room neat and do your own wash.

35) Your are not to have more than $10 cash on you at any time.

36) Any cash you receive is to be transferred to your parent’s custody.


Lloyd Woodward said...

Thanks Ken for posting this. Everyone can get some inspiration from this contract. Parents know best what needs to be added to our standard contracts. Specificity is usually very helpful.

I will take some of your ideas with me into my next contract. No cash in excess of 10.00 is a good one that should be on all our contracts. I like all the specifics on the cell phone use. Maybe other readers leave more ideas on this here.

Anonymous said...

These point are very concise-right to the point. Can't think of anything you may have left out. There is no "gray" area that your child may act as if they were unsure of something.
Great Job!!!


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