Amber Portwood's had a rough 2012 so far.
After multiple stints in jail this year from failing to adhere to the terms of her probation, she finally checked into an Indiana correctional facility earlier this month to begin serving her five-year sentence. (It resulted from her December arrest for drug possession.)
As if being a 22-year-old behind bars isn't bad enough, reports have surfaced that Amber has been forbidden from seeing her daughter, Leah.
So is the story true that Amber and Leah will really not reunite for half a decade?!
Fortunately, Amber's brother Shawn tells E! News exclusively that she's in a "mandatory reception period [where] they are in the process of transitioning her from one place to another…It's only a matter of time before she sees Leah."
Douglas S. Garrison of the Indiana Department of Corrections confirmed this, telling E! News Amber is "currently going through a two- to three-week intake and diagnostic process and is not allowed visitors." There will be no exceptions during this time permitting Amber to see her daughter, which is "normal protocol."
"The purpose of this is to get them ready for the facility that they will be assigned to," he adds. "Once she is there she will then be allowed visitors."
Shawn notes that his sister "has to undergo therapy" and reiterates that "when she is done with processing then she will be able to see Leah. She is not being treated any differently than anyone else."
As it turns out, Amber might not have to serve out her entire five-year sentence.
"In Indiana we have a good time credit provision," Garrison says. "If someone comes in with, say, a five-year sentence…and they behave…they earn day-to-day credit for good time. So that five-year sentence could turn into a two-and-a-half-year sentence."
He says that defendants can also participate in educational programming, therapeutic communities and the like, which can result in reduction of time served. "These programs take a long time," he said. "Some time up to 18 months but they will get time for that as well."
Lastly, Garrison says that "the time that Amber served after her conviction, including the diagnostic process, also counts toward her sentence."
We wish her the best.