Indefinite incarceration isn't generally seen as the best route to healthy parent-child relationships, but a judge in Michigan has decided to give it a shot. The parents of three siblings, ages 9, 10, and 14, have been locked in a bitter divorce battle for years, and the last custody hearing ended with the judge ordering the siblings to a juvenile detention facility and telling them they would be there until they graduate from high school unless they could act like "normal human beings" and build a healthy relationship with their father, whom she described as a "good man," NBC News reports. The siblings have been detained since June 24 and the next hearing isn't scheduled until September, according to BuzzFeed.
According to a transcript obtained by Fox Detroit, the hearing began with the judge finding the 14-year-old boy in contempt for failing to communicate with his father and sending him to juvenile hall. She then ordered his 10-year-old brother and 9-year-old sister to have lunch with their father and sent them to juvenile hall as well when they refused—stipulating that they have no contact with each other or with their mother, whom she accuses of "brainwashing" the younger children to hate their father, the Detroit News reports. A family law expert familiar with the case tells the News that getting the children out of detention will be up to the parents and that his impression is that the "wrong people may be in jail." (A turkey baster was at the center of another custody ruling.)