Not sure how to feel about enforced accountability

My nephew was recently in a residential rehab program for just short of a year. Last week, he was working off-site with another client who decided to get drunk. My nephew did not participate and later passed a drug test and alcohol test. The facility placed the blame on my nephew because he did not "hold the other client accountable".

My nephew's punishment (the program calls it consequences) was to be restarted in the program including repaying a start-up fee and being moved into housing with client who had just entered the program. Needless to say, he left.

I am trying to decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I understand accountability but on the other hand I know that many of the clients in this program are felons and snitching on them does not sound like a good idea to me.

Should accountability be enforced to such an extreme? I welcome any thoughts about this matter than can help me resolve my feelings about it.
  • 7 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I think accountability should be with the institution where we are associated and not with the people who break rules. There is no point in saving people who do not care about following rules.
  • I'm a bit confused here. Is that part of the rules to be held accountable for another client's behavior? If that is an outstanding rule and openly voiced out to the client that they are accountable for another client's behavior and will suffer consequences and the client agreed to it upon admission to the program, then I guess the institution is within bounds to enforce the consequences. But if it's NOT, then I understand why your nephew left.
    Personally, accountability to me is between myself and the institution I'm committed to, not with fellow program attendee.
  • i do not think your nephew is to blame for the other person's decision to drink. you cannot make someone NOT drink....sounds very strange to me that this institution would hold your nephew accountable...
  • Al-Anon teaches: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. To hold your nephew accountable for the actions of another client sounds absolutely ridiculous to me. What was your nephew supposed to do? Pick the guy up and carry him away? You can't control the actions of another individual. Period. I don't blame your nephew at all for leaving the program.
  • Thanks everyone, you validated what I was already thinking. I especially liked the reference to the Al-anon slogan.
  • No, I don't think accountability should be enforced to that extreme. For one, it is not his responsibility to take care of that co-worker. He did his part, he did not drink. And I don't think he should be held accountable for another person's actions.

    Second, he is not the supposed partner of the worker. Some groups or organisations do have such partnerships where the other person needs to support the person who is in trouble or have cravings. Even then, it isn't up to that person if the other person won't or can't be stopped. 

    Third, the co-worker has his own mind and knows the consequences of his actions. It is not up to your nephew to lecture him on that.

    I'm just glad that your nephew is out of that institution. I'm a bit confused why there had to be a startup fee as well. It's overall shady to me plus with the enforced accountability.
  • Each person is responsible for their own choices. You can't control what anyone else does and should not be held accountable for it.

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