Eric is stable now because he has a rigid enviroment that he has little ability to manipulate. Its where he belongs and where he should stay. Hopefully 25 years in this enviroment will be enough to undo the damage in his psyche.
I have a cousin who was adopted, and most likely has fetal alcohol syndrome (or fetal alcohol effects). He has no impulse control and will go along with anything his friends suggest. Since he was about 15, he's been cycling in and out of jail and group homes. The sad/strange thing is that he does wonderfully while in jail. He follows all the rules and does what he's supposed to (and so he gets released), but as soon as he loses that structure and oversight he gets into trouble again. He never physically hurts anyone, but he breaks the law (stealing, driving without a license, etc.).
He basically needs someone to tell him what to do and to force him into a healthy routine. I've causally known other people who behave like this as well, and I wish we had other options for these folks besides jail. It'd be a hell of a lot cheaper, the community would be safer, and would be a better life for the folks who keep making trouble too.
Perhaps Eric could have benefited from this kind of placement as well. My impression is that people here think that Eric should have been removed from his parents, but foster care isn't great either. I faintly remember that Eric could have stayed with other relatives or something, but that's not always available. I think most people think orphanages are horrible, but maybe they could be redesigned somehow to reduce the negatives. Some kids (and even adults) might really benefit from a more long-term, highly structured living arrangement.