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MissyChrissy
Taking it day by day
09:13 PM on 08/24/2012
"Thomas lost custody of the boy in 2010...... she regained custody in April 2010"

NJ I will give you the benefit of a doubt, let's say you caught this woman 2 Jan 2010 and awarded her custoday 2 April.....less than 120 days....why?? What evaluation did you conduct in this amount of time to determine she kicked her habit and the child was safe?

Zahree I'm so sorry.....rest peacefully
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Carl E Cook
11:15 PM on 08/24/2012
NJ, in it's infinite wisdom, recently dropped the death penalty, too, believing, i suppose, that no horrific crimes will ever again and forever be committed within its borders.........
12:30 PM on 08/25/2012
The problem with the death penalty is that it's seldom carried out. Not much deterant to crime now is there?
05:37 PM on 08/25/2012
always the money issue....
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Hugo Rabson
We are accountable for everything we say and do
09:07 PM on 08/24/2012
I'm glad no one has exploited this matter for political gains. It's so refreshing.
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kateslate
Courage doesn't always roar.
08:36 PM on 08/24/2012
Where is tough man Governor Christie? Why are so many children dying or being abused? Where is the leadership? Doesn't he care about children? He's supposed to be a Catholic man. Why is he not putting this agency under a microscope?
03:08 AM on 08/25/2012
Answers to your questions.
1. don't disturb him with such trivial things while he is eating.
2. the kids dying or being abused aren't voters or $$$ donators, so Christie could care less.
3. His kids go to expensive private schools with other extremely spoiled brats.
4. Catholic??? Isn't that the church filled with hundreds of pedofile priests whose bosses all the way up to the Pope have looked the other way for decades as children's lives were destroyed by sexual predators who wear/wore a clerical collar.
5. last question is answered by #1 answer
04:45 AM on 08/25/2012
lol
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tyger
08:27 PM on 08/24/2012
The problem is children are treated as possessions. A child who is unsafe conditions with a parent who is on drugs will be in a worse condition sooner or later. Drugs are a lifetime struggle. I see no reason that the kid has to wait until the parent gets themselves together. If I were a family member I would sue the state was placing this child in an unsafe home. Parents do not own kids. Enough already. This child was tortured!
03:29 AM on 08/25/2012
There hasn't been a very pretty history on the subject. One of the very first cases to go to court was of a boy being extremely physically abused by his father. Many people knew about it and complained but the police and Prosecutors said nothing could be done. So the local SPCA got involved. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) . The father was arrested and convicted under the laws that protected animals. There were laws against abusing animals TWENTY+ YEARS before there were laws to protect children.
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tyger
07:48 AM on 08/25/2012
thanks for that information.  It really falls with the community to keep a watchful eye out for these poor children.  Hopefully we can start with protective services and make as many complaints as it takes for someone to help the kids.
08:17 PM on 08/24/2012
You know it would be nice if in just a few of these type cases a father would be around or even know he has a kid somewhere. It's no guarantee something terrible won't happen but maybe, just maybe some of this horror could be prevented were the father/husband be around.
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kateslate
Courage doesn't always roar.
08:38 PM on 08/24/2012
BIRTH CONTROL
It is cultural. In this culture, men are high-fived if they "get some." They don't care about the human being that is created. They just get their rocks off and go on with their lives until somebody tracks them down and makes them pay.....money. Never mind the child does not have a loving father. And are we sure the mom did it? Indeed, where IS the father? Maybe he did not want to continue paying child support.
10:45 PM on 08/24/2012
have you checked the stats in black families lately??? I think it is something like 75% have no fathers and probably even worse when you consider that grandparents raise something like 30% of all children in this country now.....pretty sobering stats eh??
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intrusion
Wisdom is learning what to overlook.
12:04 AM on 08/25/2012
70% of all black families have no father in the home,as opposed to 24% for the majority. In fact nearly one-third of American children are now growing up without a biological father in the home. This is not a racial matter ! I have read lots of stories about all races doing something horrible like this. Craziness and mayhem comes in all colors, shapes and forms. A baby, a two year old child lost his life, to me it doesn't matter about anything else because the child is now gone! This is a wicked world we live in and some people are just screwed up!
This comment has been removed due to violations of our [Guidelines]
07:48 PM on 08/24/2012
If the judge is the one who gave the child back why is children's services getting blamed? I see this all the time a caseworkers getting in trouble by the JUDGE for being to hard on the parents then THE JUDGE gives the kids back and when it goes bad its the caseworker who gets the blame even when she tells the Judge that the parents need more classes or not returning the children at all.
07:28 PM on 08/24/2012
I'm gonna guess that only a little over half of those households were visited because there aren't enough case workers to handle all of the cases and now they've cut the budget again. As to the comment about marijuana being a gateway drug; some people smoke marijuana and that's the only drug they ever use. Some people try a lot of different drugs and marijuana is one of them. There is no evidence that people who smoke marijuana will go on to do other drugs. I tried marijuana a couple of times and I've never tried (or wanted to try) anything else. Someone in my family was self-medicating with marijuana for a couple of years and did nothing else. I've also worked as a counselor to clients with mental health and substance abuse issues. My clients had different substance abuse issues, but in each case, it was only really one substance that stood out. Using two drugs together is definitely not usual.
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kateslate
Courage doesn't always roar.
07:24 PM on 08/24/2012
from this article: "The case raises questions about New Jersey's Department of Children and Family Services, which has been under federal oversight for more than a decade. "

A top-down replacement of all personnel is in order. You don't investigate an agency for a frickin' DECADE while these problems are going on and children are dying.
This comment has been removed due to violations of our [Guidelines]
This comment has been removed due to violations of our [Guidelines]
06:14 PM on 08/24/2012
We need to bring attention to the children of these mentally ill parents. This mother was obviously not in her right mind way before this incident. Due to the complexity of the mental health laws in the United States, there probably was nothing no one could do about keeping her away from her child unless she meets the three criteria: threat to herself, threat to others, or gravely disabled. It is hard to prove any of these unless the person does something very drastic. We all need to focus on the true issue, our mental health system was not designed to facilitate mental stabilization and long term care. We have a temporary fix system until the person in question goes to extreme measures to where their mental stability comes into question. As a child of a mentally ill mother, I know exactly how it feels to have a parent who is fighting a mind debilitating illness. It is time we wake up people, the problem is not guns or knives, or anything else that is used as a mechanism of violence!!!! We must work together to change the mental health laws to accommodate such severe and hard to detect and treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.
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kateslate
Courage doesn't always roar.
07:31 PM on 08/24/2012
I so agree. However, it requires more funds for oversight, and in today's climate with tax cuts and all, it just feels so hopeless. I mourn for these children born of parents who need extra help and monitoring. It must be a scary existence for those children to have parents who don't care for them properly, and the children are so small and vulnerable. They have no options, no choice, but to watch their parent spin out of control unless and until somebody steps in for them.

Until we do, we cannot call America a Christian nation.
04:28 AM on 08/25/2012
Two problems. Mental health treatment for the lower & lower middle class is hideously expensive. ($800 - $1,200 monthly for medications) And many county mental health agencies have been sold to companies, becoming privatized - - - so the focus isn't about helping the clients get well and becomes more about profits.. Paid for by us through Medicare, Medicaid..
The situation coming out about the Colorado theater slayings is fairly common - - - professionals knew he was sick, he tried to get help, and never got it. HOPEFULLY the courts/jurys will see the truth about him and the woman who murdered her son. The theater killer prepared for months, getting the bullets, guns, his protective gear, making bombs and triggers for his apartment, etc. Does he have mental problems, yes, but he showed a bunch of signs that prove he's not crazy enough to be fully unresponsible for his actions. He told the police about the bombs in his apartment immediately after being arrested----conscience and knowledge of right and wrong. And it should NOT be forgotten that he is well-educated in psychology of the mind----to know how to act and what to say to mimic whichever mental illness he wants. This woman also has mental problems but she isn't crazy. On the phone she didn't say the voices made her do it and at first she blamed her boyfriend but then admitted SHE had killed her son. Neither should be allowed to get away with Not Guilty By Reason
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kateslate
Courage doesn't always roar.
04:59 PM on 08/25/2012
If you are not a mental health professional, and if you have not seen these people personally, it is difficult to accept your assessment of them.
Based on what is being reported, there definitely should have been a better system in place for that Colorado shooter's therapist to report to police that she knew he was a threat. That mother in New Jersey? We just don't know.

And your statement about the cost of meds? We also don't know that to be true. Sometimes these people just need guidance and somebody to talk to. Guidance, support, and time seem to be in short supply to give to them.

I agree that all has become about profit, and we get reamed by the corporations billing Medicaid and Medicare for things like this when the solution should be built around support for the person, and a valid mental health assessment WITHOUT an eye toward what is most profitable. The situation is rife with possibilities for fraud. Drug companies entice professionals to prescribe. It's insane the way we run this in this country.
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David Esper
05:52 PM on 08/24/2012
RIP Zahree Thomas. We'll never know what your place in this world would have been, but I do know the world is a little sadder now that you're gone.
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bestpbx
Warning, insanity dna at work here...
06:04 PM on 08/24/2012
Kind words.
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silkzephyr
07:21 PM on 08/24/2012
fanned and faved .. what a sweet child.
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sonny parker
05:18 PM on 08/24/2012
Not God...not Satan....just a druggy gone too far....should have stabbed herself first....
05:12 PM on 08/24/2012
"She regained custody in April 2010 under an order signed by Judge Angelo DiCamillo of Camden County Superior Court's Family division"...wonder if the Judge now regrets that decision...with power comes great responsibility...let's protect these little ones that can't protect themselves. RIP now Zahree Thomas, sorry your life was too short and full of fear...
07:36 PM on 08/24/2012
Sometimes a parent will clean up their act and get their kids back. It can be a sincere effort. They jump through all the hoops, pass all the tests and sincerely want to change. And then something goes wrong. Mental illness is a tricky thing. Taking prescription meds and mixing them with substances that are not medically monitored can cause irrational behavior. This is why all SSRI's (of which Prozac is one) tell you not to use alcohol while taking the prescription. Mixing it with something as unpredictable as a combo of THC/PCP is extremely dangerous. She could have had a mental health issue that triggered the drug use, or the drug use could have triggered the mental health episode. In any event, I really don't know the judge is to blame. After all, they make decisions on the information they are given at the time. They do not use a crystal ball.
07:55 PM on 08/24/2012
A child died a horrible, horrible death that could have been prevented.