A Michigan judge sentenced three siblings to a juvenile detention center because they refused to have a relationship with their father. As if the story isn’t absurd enough, the 15, 10, and 9-year-old kids are also expected to remain at the Children’s Village detention center until they turn 18.
Unfortunately, this is the latest development in a brutal divorce case that has dragged on since 2009. The children maintain that they don’t want to spend time with their dad because he allegedly hit their mother. But County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca seems to think that the testimony of the children has no merit. She went on to berate the children prior to handing down their sentences, which will actually prevent both parents from seeing them at all.
The kids have already served two weeks in the detention center.
According to Vice, Judge Gorcyca compared the kids to brainwashed members of the Manson family while arguing that their estranged father is a “great man.”
How did everything become so tumultuous? Family relations began to deteriorate after the father, Omer Tsimhoni, decided to move to Israel for a job offer from General Motors. Maya Eibschitz, who has her own career as a pediatric ophthalmologist, didn’t want to move out of the US. However, the couple eventually reconciled and Eibschitz followed her husband to Israel in 2008. By December of 2009, she moved back to the US and began filing for divorce.
By February of this year, the court appointed a mental health professional named Jennifer Hayes, who claims she discovered evidence of parental alienation (PAS).
Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) was coined in the 80s as a way to describe kids who refuse to speak to one divorced parent because they’ve been bad-mouthed or brainwashed by the other. Some experts question the legitimacy of PAS, but Judge Gorcyca determined that the Tsimhoni kids were victims of it.
Interesting how this judge saw these kids as victims, and then decided to victimize them again by throwing them in a detention center.
Judge Gorcyca continued to pressure the siblings to spend time with their father, even though they were fiercely resistant. She went as far as insulting the kids prior to sentencing them for contempt of court after their refusal to comply.
“You’re supposed to have a high IQ, which I’m doubting right now because of the way you act,” the judge told the 15-year-old.
When the nine-year-old refused to speak at all, the judge told her, “God gave you a brain. He expects you to use it.”
The judge ordered that the trio will each be living in a separate “cell” at Mandy’s Place, a part of the Children’s Village specifically used to detain kids who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.
This is what the US justice system has turned into. Not only do we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world, pathetic power-trip judges are now throwing kids in detention centers for not being nice to their parents. What’s next? Will Gorcyca sentence a 5-year-old to juvi for spilling a glass of milk during dinner? How about an infant who defecates too much on a given day, thus burdening his poor parents with superfluous diaper changes?
Even if there is some evidence that the mother in this case unfairly demonized the father, it simply doesn’t make sense to berate and criminalize the kids. Since the parents won’t be able to see their own children while they’re locked away, the judge’s strategy is counter-productive to what she’s trying to achieve: a good relationship between the father and the kids.
The judge is literally robbing these kids of their childhoods when they haven’t committed any crime. What the judge is doing should be considered criminal conduct.
As with any news story, there is a bigger picture at play here. Jails, prisons, and detention centers aren’t supposed to be punitive homes for non-violent people who question authority. But they certainly are. The US incarcerates 716 people for every 100,000 residents, which is more than any other country in the world. In states like Louisiana, the numbers are even higher, with 1,341 per 100,000 people thrown in prison. Keep in mind that the level of crime is comparable to those of other stable, internally secure, industrialized nations.
The numbers are still high when you zero-in on how many children get sentenced to time behind bars. Just like with adults, the US incarcerates more minors than any other country. Around half a million are brought to detention centers in any given year, and 40% of them are currently in a for-profit institutions.
When detention centers have a profit motive, they will push for policies that lock up non-violent “offenders,” and that is exactly what’s happening.
Also keep in mind that there are so many people sentenced to prison that 2.7 million kids currently have at least one parent who is serving time.
When you throw non-criminals in prison, it becomes their self-fulfilling prophecy. They become hardened criminals, and it’s nearly impossible to establish a productive life when these people are brought back to society with a criminal record.
Judge Gorcyca is a burden on our justice system. She is irrational, illogical, and unable to utilize common sense when dealing with family matters… or appropriate punishments for that matter.