KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR | Annie's Mailbox Stepson molested her daughters
Dear Annie: I am a mother of three children and two stepchildren. Six years ago, my then-teenage stepson raped my 7-year-old and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. He also molested my 10-year-old daughter.
This young man was incarcerated, not for what he did to my children, but for the crimes he committed against several other children who were willing to talk to the police. My husband of 23 years is still with me, trying to deal with all of this.
My stepson will be released from prison in two years, and he has threatened to harm my children when he gets out. My question is, can I force the state of Oregon to move him to a prison on the East Coast, where he will be on probation for 20 years and have to remain in the state where he is released? Praying For Help in Oregon
Dear Oregon: We contacted the Oregon Department of Corrections and received a sympathetic response from the deputy director, Nick Armenakis. Unfortunately, the answer to your question is no. Oregon cannot force another state to accept one of its inmates. Also, in most cases, Oregon requires released offenders to return to the county in which they lived.
Mr. Armenakis recommended you contact the county community corrections staff and the state parole board to get more information about your stepson's release. You can also ask the board to order "no contact" with your family as a condition of supervision. Oregon, along with many other states, subscribes to the VINE system (Victim Information and Notification Everyday), which features 24-hour, toll-free phone information about offenders in prison and on supervision. He also suggested that you access their Web site at www.doc.state.or.us.
We wish there were more that could be done to protect your family. We pray that in the next two years, your situation will improve.
Dear Annie: Our female office manager continually humiliates, nitpicks, lies, plays favorites and manipulates. She calls people into her office to berate them and keeps her office door open so everyone can hear. She picks at everything we do, leading us to think we can do nothing right. She piles on the work and sets unrealistic deadlines. She overrules any good ideas if they are not hers.
We are all competent, dedicated employees, and most of us have one or more college degrees. This woman has the power to fire us, so we cannot stand up to her, or we risk losing our jobs. Employees have cried in the bathroom and left for home in the middle of the day because of her abuse. Is there anything we can do? Bullying Victim in Northern California
Dear Victim: Since the situation is so unbearable, you have little to lose by going over your supervisor's head and talking to her boss. Explain the problem, and ask if anything can be done to boost morale. If possible, provide documentation to support your complaints. You might also consider asking for a transfer or looking for another job. Life is too short to work in a place where you are so miserable.
Dear Annie: My husband passed away in February. I was told you printed a letter about widows who still wear their wedding bands. Is it OK to wear my ring on my right hand instead of my left? Manchester, Conn.
Dear Manchester: Yes. Widows (and widowers) can wear their wedding rings anywhere they please, including the right hand, left hand, around the neck, pinned to a shirt, on an ankle bracelet or through a pierced navel. If you are looking to meet a new mate, however, it would be best not to wear the ring so you appear available.
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