Tough Love: Mom Refuses to Bail Son Out of Jail

By on August 5, 2010

While trolling the ‘net at an ungodly hour recently (*cough*I’maddictedtoStumbleUpon*cough*), I happened upon a picture of a teenage boy standing on the side of a road, wearing a homemade sign that read I smoked pot and watched porn and got caught. So this is my punishment.

I immediately snickered to myself and mumbled something along the lines of, You’re supposed to do that sh*t when your parents *aren’t* home, dude. Then I switched back over to Mom-mode and thought, Good for those parents! I’d do the same thing before waving my fist in the air and shouting about Kids these days!

A mother in Chicago is going a few steps further with her son, who was arrested and accused of stealing a pizza delivery car last weekend. Seventeen-year-old Ravontay Hutchin’s bail was set at $25,000, an amount his mother had no intention of paying. Not because she didn’t have it, but because she didn’t want to.

Ravontay’s mother told the court last Sunday morning that she had the money to bail her son out, but was opting to keep him locked up instead. She said that she’d done everything she could for Ravontay, whom she said was spoiled, and noted that his father is serving in Iraq. As he was led out of the courtroom, she told her son to “think about that, while your dad’s in Iraq.”

admission essay editing service

It was a move that impressed the judge. “I want to know why there’s not more parents like this. … I applaud her for her truthfulness,” she said.

This isn’t Ravontay’s only charge; he’s got a misdemeanor battery charge and several traffic violations tucked under his belt, and he’s only 17. He’s just a kid! So many times we’ve written posts at The Bad Mom’s Club and have ended them by wondering? where are the parents?, and here’s a story where the the parents – or in this case, a mother – is right there, doing something. Loving tough, sending a message that THIS ISN’T OKAY. That there are bigger things out there, more important things to be focusing on than car theft and battery. I’ll bet donuts to dollars that leaving her son in jail was one of the hardest things Ravontay’s mother has ever had to do, but there’s a good chance that it might turn his life around. I hope that for Ravontay’s sake – and his mom’s – that it does.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe in ‘tough love’? What would you have done if you were in this woman’s situation?



  1. GingerB says:

    I have worked in the criminal justice system for years and have seen hundreds of families destroyed by both their unlawful child’s acts AND their own acceptance and validation of that behavior by repeatedly bailing the person out, taking them back in to their homes, only to have he stealing and drug using and whatever else goes on ust continue until the family has put uo a house for bail only to have the thuggish teenager skip out and cost the family their home. Especially if drugs are issue, tough love is your only option, really. Some time in jail really may do that kid some good – normal people will work like hell to never get back there, but for others it is like coming home.
    GingerB´s last [type] ..Sing a song of sixpence- and heroin- and studs

  2. Hmm says:

    While I’m all for tough love, you’re first example makes me sick to my stomach. Seriously? The teenage boy did a teenage boy thing.

    Sure, maybe I’m a bad parent for thinking that pot and porn isn’t the end of the world (and certainly not bad enough to HUMILIATE your child over), but wow. Yeah,, my kid steals, they can see what the inside of a prision looks like… but there is no way in hell I am going to humiliate my child as a punishment.

    It’s creative, but totally cruel.

    • terrie says:

      you really dont understand. you have never been put threw the stuff a child can do to you.. ruin marriages ,credit that a person has worked 20 years for …and tell you f — you after they said they were going to stop.. parents are used time and time again and then the child goes back to the low life people and starts it all over again….and you as a parent never allowed this growing up… porn is the start of our son to disrespect of the mothers of our world. and for pot it is the cause of some people to have no responitibly… like right now my son is in jail for the 4x and twins due any minute his girl friend thinks i need to bail him out.. and hes already jumped court date for this offence. and i have had 5 fightswith them over this and they lied to saying they would use that income tax check…when they have had big in come tax returns and have paid nothing …. and it all started years ago with pot and porn….i guess im glad you havent had this heart break or imbarrasment happen to you….

  3. Sarah says:

    I wouldn’t make my kids stand out on the road like that. But leave them in jail….depends on what they did. Our experience was with a more tame offense, but we thought it was a good “teaching moment”. My fifteen-year-old son was picked up, with two of his buddies, by the local police department because he did not have his helmet while on his bicycle (in a neighborhood he should not have been in). My sister had to pick him up because I work far away and have our only car. I honestly think hauling teenagers to jail for not having a helmet (on bicycles) is beyond big brother stupid. But, that’s the law and he got a ticket and a court date out of it. We grounded him for three weeks, and made him scrub the floors and walls of the dishroom at my sister’s restaurant since the ticket ended up in her name, since she picked him up. We explained that, whatever he (or we) might think of that law, he had to follow it, but that we were coming down extra hard because he was not where he had permission to be. I bet he’ll never forget that helmet again!

  4. leah says:

    i was the recipient of ‘tough love’ when i was 21. i stole some rum from my mom (not included in any charges) and got drunk. i then took off in my car to chase down my x in a fight. i got a dui on christmas eve less than 1/2 a mile from my apt (which was also 1/2 mile from my moms). she left me in jail for christmas as a lesson. i didnt learn. the next few years were speckled with drinking and nuisance/trespassing/drunk in public charges. i only learned when i wanted. i dont condemn parents for taking the ‘tough love’ approach but they must remember that most times a change will not be made until THEY want to change. my son saved my life. and now i have the dreaded teenage years to look forward to with him….

  5. Jeana says:

    I came upon this site because I have a 29 year old who is in jail, again because I bailed him out too many times. And I wish I hadn’t. Now he has caught entering a car x2…which they are charging it as burglary. It really started in 2006…small stuff. He had a slight drug problem and I was hoping that he would grow out of it. (He was a perfect child until he hit 25…never a problem). I divorced his father when my son was just a year old. my brother @ 32 took his own life because he lost his job and felt he had no hope…so, the guilt and worry about this drove me to over-protect, empathy, pity…whatever. I begged him and begged him…don’t do this anymore. You have a roof over your head…I love you, and you will get another job. Due to his job loss, his drug use elevated to Oxys up his he is begging me to get him a lawyer that’s going to cost me @ least 5 g’s. But, I am finally going to let him set their, get a public defender and handle this himself AND HOPE TO GOD HE STILL LOVES ME. and will learn, grow and when he get’s out, maybe, he will have learned. I begged him, now he is begging me and it is killing me. I have not told him yet…because I thought I could help him by getting a lawyer….but, I am not! So, don’t bail them out…it will not stop. I am moving back home to Savannah and leaving him hear in Athens because I can’t take it anymore. I miss him more than you can believe and it could 3 years before I ever get another hug and kiss from him that I can’t even stand myself. I am writing this with tears in my eyes, hoping that this will help me and someone else out their. Praise God for all His goodness.

    • Evie says:

      Thank you for your post Jeana. If you can Praise God after all that you have been through I should be able to do the same. My son is 18 now but sexually abused my daughter when he was 14. At the time I took my daughter to the ER and had my son taken into custody because I felt that if I didn’t do something that he would become a monster and continue this behavior. it was only later that I had found out that he had done it more than once and had done it to my younger son as well. at that time I installed a camera system and a alarm system to moniter the childrens rooms and the alarm would go off every time he would step out of the door. The court excepted this plan as a safety measure and allowed him back in the house so that i could provide him with the treatment he needed. within months he tried it again with my daughter and served 4 years in juvi. He got out just a few months ago with parole and was sent to a childrens home as he can’t be in any house that has children. I just got a call today from the coordinator that he is back in jail as he has violated his parole by drinking. I too am writing this with tears in my eyes and a broken heart. I love my son and pray to God he grant him the wisdom he needs to change his life around, since won’t listen to advice or learn from his past mistakes.

    • jess says:

      Proud of you for your strength .Move on get strong for your self .May be in the
      he will understand all that you dud and tried to do for him.

    • Lucia says:

      I think that God led me to your post/! Thank you!

  6. barce says:

    My son who just turn 18 years old was put in jail yesterday. Was at a friends house the night before (some where that he wasn’t to be) and the house was raided. This is so hard. The bail bondsmen called me this morning and told me bond was set at 26,000, and I would have to come up with 12%. I told him thank you but he needs to learn a lesson. My son has since called my sister begging and crying on the phone. I know this is the right thing to do. My son has been using the (Leagal Majuanina) which is wrost that the illeagal. The night he went to his so called friends house was because I wouldn’t give him any money. So I guess he decided he would help him sell some X. I try really hard not to think of what he’s going through, his father is going to see him in the morning. I can’t because I’m too weak and will melt at the site of him. I don’t know if this is going to help him or end up hurting him. Over the last 3 years he has done nothing but hurt me. I just want him to think of that.

  7. jess says:

    I wish I had been tufer when my daughter was young .She stole a car and went for a joy ride with young kids and got off ,the list goes on and on .after sending and paying for her to go to school which she passed with tutoring i paid for she never picked up her diploma or went to work all the while she was doing pot when I was at work .It was her younger brother that opened my eyes to all that was going on .At which point she moved out to live with her sister despite my warning to the older one . She stole ,lied tryid to break up there marriage and hurt the baby. out s she has now been in 6-10 “friends ” houses that i know of . the parting never stopped or the work start. last year she called me and announced she wanted a baby to love . Despite all her family and friends support and advice she had her baby .She has been kicked out several homes and a shelters , she call consistently to get me to give her money or let her live here and I keep saying no . the pain in my heart is intense ,but she needs help I cant give her .If i take her in she will destroy my house my son our life . I have called the state for support “it’s a life style choice” . I have given her names ,numbers of places shelter to go for help .but she just finds some one else to rescue her .I am tired .Any advice out there would be a help .I have raised 4 kids ,3 are stable happy . what noe?

  8. Michelle says:

    Thank you for posting your comment, I’m In a situation where I’ve just pulled my son’s suriety for the 3rd time and now he’s back in jail he’s been caught for drug dealing. I’ve bailed him out 3 times and each time he has promised to sort things and get his life on track the last straw was him stealing from us. He is now back behind bars and ringing me every day 10 times a day to come bail him out. The struggle I have is the constant fight in my head to believe him that he is going to change a bail hit out again to the realisation that he needs to be taught a lesson. Reading your comment helps me realise that he is better off left behind bars

    • Lizza says:

      We adopted a little boy at age one, since 1st grade we had shool problems all the way to 12th grade. We had him put in a residential treatment facility due to his behavior. We had him go to Counselor after Counselor put on meds for several diagnosis, out of the 160 school days we were at the school 158 days for one thing or another, lies, porn, stealing, destruction of property, verbal abuse, and now he was arrested again (second time for theft) while at school. We tried always tried to be there for him growing up putting our life aside for our kids but still nothing changed. He has been in county jail for a week and it is killing us but I know he will not change if we get him out, everything we ever bought him has been pawned and we cannot get to him with our love, caring and support. We have no choice but to trust God and let him watch over him.. Sad, devasted, not other option.