Thursday, 4 December 2014

To Tell The Truth? - From 'Amanda'

My partner has recently been sent to prison and our ten year old daughter thinks he is working away. 
The other morning before she went to school she asked me if her dad was in prison because one of her friends told her that their mum had told them to stop playing with her because her dad was a scumbag and that he was in prison.
I have had to tell my daughter the truth and she is devastated. She hasn't spoken to me in three days and shuts herself in her bedroom when she comes in from school.
I feel so guilty lying to her but I tried to protect her. Her dad got involved in a fight and was sent to prison on a section 18 charge.
The day he appeared in the local paper I kept our daughter off school so that she wouldn't catch a glimpse of the newspaper in the local shop we stop at on our way to school. If that was wrong then it was wrong but I wanted to protect her.
I have ended up ringing the school and telling them about her dad and they have been quite supportive and helpful. I hope she doesn't get bullied and now I am worried to death about her because she has taken this very badly. I know there are other families in this situation because I have read other very similar stories but it still worries me. I know there isn't much advice you can give me but nevertheless I wanted to share what I am going through and just hope that things get better in time. Thanks PFV :-) 

Leave The Families Out Of It - From Anon

Hi. I am not sure where to start...
My Brother is in prison and my Mum is at breaking point. Since he was sent to jail 6 months ago she has been having massive panic attacks and has become withdrawn and stopped taking pride in her appearance which is just not like my Mum. 
The other week she got a nasty letter through the post which we presume is off someone who knew the victim involved in the crime my Brother committed. The letter was hostile and contained some strong offensive language.
The victim survived but was badly injured and I accept the anger. What I don't accept is the hate directed at my Mum! She has done absolutely nothing wrong! If the victims family members or friends want to have their say then they should be writing to my Brother asking him questions not my Mum because my Mum cannot simply explain why my Brother did what he did! To be very honest I am sick of reading about prisoners families who are targeted because of their loved ones actions. My Mum has never broken the law and has worked hard all her life and paid her taxes like every other law abiding citizen. I too have never broken the law but my Brother did which is nothing whatsoever to do with Mum and I. I have been a victim of serious crime myself so I can understand some of the pain, but to aim anger at innocent individuals is plain bang out of order. 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: HMP Humber: a ‘Riot’ or just a ‘Disturbance’?

Prison UK: An Insider's View: HMP Humber: a ‘Riot’ or just a ‘Disturbance’?: Back in July this blog carried a post entitled Weasel Words (1): Prison ‘Disturbances’ . In it I analysed the way in which the Ministry of ...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Prison Widow - BBC Radio 5 Interview


Prison Mail Ideas - From Leanne

Hello guys! My man is in prison and sometimes I run out of ideas on what to write. I would like to share with your readers what I do. There is a great make your own printable word search puzzle online that you can do. You can even make it a bit cheeky if you want! I make my man one every few weeks or so and it is a laugh creating one and he loves them! 
Here's the link:


Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood): Book Giveaway

Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood): Book Giveaway: Here are six ways to get a free copy of my latest book, Hard Time 2nd Edition . 1 Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win a signed copy. ...

Heroin Destroys Families - From Beth

Dear Sir or Madam. I would like to reply to the person who wrote in to your site about losing her brother to an heroin overdose.
My ex partner of ten years is an heroin addict and has been in prison many times.
He always promised me that he would come off the gear but it never happened. Obviously he didn't want too!
Being with an heroin addict is a nightmare. 
I felt embarrassed walking down the street with him and all my neighbours knew he was a druggie. I work full time and have never taken drugs so being with someone who was an addict was indescribable. He wasn't a bad person and I know he stole off me and others to fund his habit, but I had had enough and walked away from him. 
As far as I know he is back in prison again and I doubt he will ever come off drugs. He is 44 years of age so his future doesn't look too bright. Can I just say to the person who wrote in about her brother that they should not blame themselves for walking away. It is awful living with someone addicted to this disgusting drug. The stress it causes innocent families is extreme to the point of breakdown. If I could give this person a hug I would because I have experienced living with a drug addict and it is just awful beyond belief. 
I am sorry for the families grief but people on drugs make their own decision to screw their lives up and their loved ones lives too. From Beth. 

Charles Manson Gets Licence To Wed 26-Year-Old

Charles Manson has obtained a marriage licence to tie the knot with a 26-year-old woman who visits him in prison. It was not immediately clear if the 80-year-old mass murderer had set an exact date to marry Afton Elaine Burton, who runs a number of websites claiming he is innocent. A copy of the marriage licence, issued on 7 November, was seen by the AP news agency on Monday. Ms Burton moved to Corcoran, California, nine years ago to be near Manson who is being held at Corcoran State Prison.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Missing Prison Widow - From HMP Garth

Dear Prisoners Families Voices.
I am a prisoners wife and I send my husband print outs of your blog in prison and it gets passed around and the other lads read it.
My husbands name is Steve and he has sent a message with me to say that all the lads in prison are missing Prison Widow and her articles so can you please write them a special edition and publish it on your blog site so that I can print it out. This by the way is from the guys down in HMP Garth! 
Lots of love and hugs from Julie wife of Steve. 

COMMENT: Prison Widow will publish a special Christmas printable edition for you Julie and your husband! 

Heroin and Prison - From Anonymous Family Member

My brother was in prison for drugs offences and he was an addict too addicted to heroin.
Me and my Mum couldn't cope with his prison sentences and his drug habit because he was stealing from us all the time and put us through hell. The only thing we could do is walk away from him because he had been in prison 5 times and every time he came out of prison he would come home and make our lives hell. Anyway he went to prison last year and sorted himself out and did very well in the drugs rehab part of the prison. 
As soon as he was released he went and bought some heroin and injected it. He died instantly.
The pain and grief me and Mum are going through is unbearable because we feel guilty that for a time we turned our backs. Please if anyone has been through this could you write in to the blog. Please don't publish my name. Thank you Editor. 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: A Life-Shaped Hole

Prison UK: An Insider's View: A Life-Shaped Hole: Although I’ve known a number of people who have died – some of them at their own hand in prison – the recent death of my father has been th...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood): Recent Interview on Sky TV

Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood): Recent Interview on Sky TV

Offenders Explaining Gaps In Their CV's? - From Ex Prisoner

Good day!
I have recently been released from prison.
My wife stood by me throughout my sentence and I will be eternally grateful for her support. 
We have a 12 year old daughter together.
I have been out now for three months.
I feel that I cannot settle and my wife is on my case to get a job every day.
I have tried and tried and then tried some more sending vast amounts of job applications off and haven't yet had one interview.
My wife knows this has I show her my applications online and what I have applied for.
We are arguing constantly and this is not good for our daughter.
Yes I did wrong and served my time but my wife will not let me forget it and this is preventing me from moving on. Every time I go to probation she insists on driving me there because she says she doesn't trust me to attend my appointments. 
I do want to turn my life around more than anything but after serving nearly 7 years I can't turn it around immediately especially after just 12 weeks. My CV is also another issue because how do I explain the gaps in it? 

Dad's A Lifer - From 'Paul'

Hi PFV. I have been a follower of your blog for quite some time now. I am a 19 year old Uni student and my Father is a lifer serving his sentence in the UK.
He was sent to prison when I was 10 years old and I cannot begin to tell you how my life was then. 
I was bullied at school, lost all my pals, me and my Mother moved areas at least five times because of harassment from both the public and the press and all in all, I grew up a lonely lad. 
If anyone knows what it is like growing up with a parent in prison and overcoming the obstacles that crime inflicts on children of prisoners it is me!
Of course we cannot forget the real victims of crime because they too serve a life sentence and I cannot even begin to imagine their pain. When I was 10 years old, I did not fully understand. All I knew was that my Father did something terribly wrong and that he went to prison. My family tried to protect me from the full story of what happened and looking back they did the right thing in my opinion.
As I said, I am 19 now and have changed my surname by deed pole to try and move on. 
My Mother has since re-married and for once in her life is content and I am happy for her, she deserves the happiness after what she went through. 
My opinion on the public who think that offenders families are cut from the same cloth is one of astonishment. I was spat at in the street at 10 years of age by grown adult women because of what my Father did. What innocent 10 year old deserves that? I wasn't asked to be born nor was I responsible for what my Father did. 
My address was published in the newspaper when my Father was arrested and charged. Imagine how that made me and my Mother felt about that? There were of course consequences surrounding the press's decision to do just that because bricks and windows don't exactly make good combinations when used in temper and anger! 
I still have my moments of depression not because my Father is in prison, but because of the flashbacks of what a 10 year old child shouldn't go through. I know what children of prisoners go through and trust me, absolutely more should be done to support them.
Please with hold my email address and name and please keep up with the excellent work you do to raise awareness. 

Prison Communication Statement

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has revealed that confidential conversations between prisoners and MPs may have been taped and listened to by prison staff as part of routine monitoring of prisoner communications between 2006 and 2012. During the statement he said: an investigation into the recording of telephone calls between prisoners and their constituency MPs and lawyers will be launched that calls between at least 32 current MPs and prisoners had taken place, though he was unsure of the figure for previous MPs; the most recent was between a prisoner and his constituency MP Justice Minister Simon Hughesa small number of calls between prisoners and their lawyers had also "accidently" been recordedhe was sorry for the lapse.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Christmas Ideas With Felt

Think Before You Comment - From Anonymous Family Member

My brother has recently been sentenced and will be spending a while in prison. I don't want to go in to why he is in prison because it distresses our family.
The person it has hit the hardest is our Mother who is in her 80's and is frail at the moment.
Her son was her blue-eyed boy and now she looks upon him as being dead because she will never see him again. She cannot travel to the prison due to ill health and God bless her I cannot see her being with us when he is finally released from prison. I know I shouldn't talk this way but we have to face facts and that is basically the top and bottom of it.
My Mother used to go to an OAP afternoon group just to get out of the house and mingle with others over a cup of afternoon tea and scones. She could only manage an hour but at least she managed an hour and socialized with others. The community centre is literally just around the corner from where Mother lives so it was a handy resource. 
Since my Brother has been sentenced and his crime in the local newspaper, Mum refuses to go to the OAP afternoon because she is too ashamed to go. I feel like my Brother through his selfish actions has denied Mum the last little bit of independence she had! 
Whether anyone likes it or not, he is to blame for putting Mum in this situation and this has affected her badly. I am fully aware that the victims of crime are those who are in the forefront of being affected and I am so sorry for anyone who has to go through the pain and heartache, but there are also other pairs of shoes out here that no one wants to tread either which are those of prisoners families who did not ask their family members to go and commit crime yet we are frowned upon like we too are criminals. A lot of people blame criminal behaviour on upbringing. In some cases that maybe so but in many other cases there are criminals who have had excellent upbringings so please think about it and don't judge before you know the full story. 
Thank you so much for listening and I would appreciate it if my name is kept private. 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Prisons and a Death in the Family

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Prisons and a Death in the Family: When you are in prison, one of the most difficult things to have to cope with is the death of a close family member or loved one. By its ver...

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Confused - From Jay

Dear Editor of PFV. 
I am responding to a post I read last night called Persecuting the Innocent. 
I find it sad and confusing as to why members of the public would harass an innocent man because his son committed a crime. But this is the world we live in right now and it isn't a very nice one.
It infuriates me that people are dim and uneducated to not realize that what they are actually doing by harassing and persecuting an innocent old gentleman is that they are actually committing a bloody crime themselves! It just seems that even if someone is innocent but are in some way connected to a criminal be it their son, daughter, wife, husband and so on, the criminals family is tied with the same brush although they have absolutely done no wrong! 

Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood): Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 16)

Jon's Jail Journal (by Shaun Attwood): Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 16): I am officially a publisher. Pics taking delivery of 5,500 copies of Hard Time 2nd Edition at my warehouse space. 2000 copies are being don...

Monday, 3 November 2014

Two guards injured in knife attack at Glenochil Prison

Police are investigating after two prison guards were attacked by an inmate with a knife at HMP Glenochil. The guards were treated in hospital, one for serious facial injuries, following the attack at the Clackmannanshire jail on 29 October. Police Scotland is investigating, and officers are following a positive line of inquiry. The prison, near Tullibody, holds long-term adult male prisoners ranging from low to high risk categories.

Persecuting The Innocent - From Anonymous Reader

Hello. Please could you with hold my name and email details thanks.
I am writing to you on behalf of my neighbour who is a pensioner and a lovely soul.
His son has recently been sent to prison for not a very nice crime but I would rather not go in to detail about it.
Since his son went to prison my neighbour has been targeted by locals in the area. They have thrown bricks through his window, thrown eggs at his door and spit at him every time he walks to the shops. My neighbour has done nothing wrong at all, it was his son who had and is serving time in prison for his actions. 
How can people judge someone and inflict so much pain on an elderly person who by the way served for his country and has been an upstanding member of our community? 
Yes the crime was an awful one his son committed and his Father (my neighbour) is paying the ultimate price for it which is not fair! 
My neighbour has stopped going out to the shops and isn't sleeping. 
I make sure I pop round every day to make sure he is eating and I go to the shops for him.
He is such a lovely gentleman and is absolutely devastated by what his son has done.
The victims family even spat at my neighbour in court! I am very sorry for the victims family but they are out of order for penalizing an innocent man! The shame for him is enough without idiots frightening him to death in his own home! 
I will catch them though because I have just installed CCTV! I just cannot believe the mentality of some people punishing someone innocent! Rant over! Thanks for listening. 

Great Xmas Gift Ideas! - Sent In By Yvonne B

Hi PFV! Since my hubby has been in prison I have got involved in doing crafts with my children. This Santa sleigh is a great idea and very easy to do! My children have made a few of them for their friends at school and for their teachers for Christmas!
As you can see, all you need is some candy canes, and a few bars of chocolates and some chocolate coins, then tie a ribbon around it to hold the sleigh together. The chocolate santa's can be bought in most stores usually in a netting like the coins are sold. 
Hope you like it! I got the idea off the internet by the way. Love and best wishes Yvonne! 

Withdrawn After Prison Release - From Rachel

Before my partner went to prison he was a hard working individual who had been at the same work place for 8 years.
He did something stupid that landed him in prison.
Since coming out all he has done is stay in the bedroom and played on the PS3.
My man is not the same person anymore and here I was thinking that everything would go back to the way it was before he got sent down.
I know some of the posts on your blog have stories about similar things but I want to know if this is just a phase he is going through. He is a bit withdrawn almost like he is depressed and has been out of prison now for 7 weeks. Thanks in advance. Rachel. You can use my real name thanks. 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Drugs, Prisons and Public Policy

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Drugs, Prisons and Public Policy: Well, I’m back to blogging after a week travelling. Thanks to everyone who continued to post comments and tweets. I’ll try to catch up with...

The Other Side Of The Story - From Anonymous

Hi to all. No disrespect aimed at the victims of crime whatsoever but I think that families of those who have committed crime get a rough deal all round too. 
My partner committed a serious offence last year when I was ready to give birth to our daughter. 
He had always had a wild streak but had never committed a serious crime before and it left our family absolutely devastated. The stress caused the onset of early labour and I gave birth a month early.
Every night after he was arrested, I went to bed and had nightmares about what he had done and could not get the victims family out of my head. I still can't but for the sake of my own well-being and my daughters, I am trying to move on the best I can.
I am very unsure about mine and my partners future as he will be locked away for quite some time and I am not prepared to put my life on hold. He has said himself that I should move on because it is unfair that I serve his sentence with him, but we will always have our daughter that keeps us connected to one another.
Six months after he committed the crime, his Father passed away as he started to drink heavily due to what happened. My partner's brother went off the rails too and has gotten himself heavily in to drugs. It's pretty much one big mess. 
I wouldn't wish it on anyone to be in this situation. I moved away from the area I lived in because the victims family lived nearby although I hadn't done anything wrong I thought it better that they didn't need a constant reminder of my partner when I saw them out shopping etc. I have started a new life elsewhere were I can rebuild a life for myself and my daughter. The consequences of serious crime is indescribable and there are no words that can honestly describe it. We have to move on however painful it is.
Thank you all for raising issues concerning prisoners families. Quite often the public only see one side of the story. Blessings to all. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Halloween Party Ideas!

UK Prison Newspapers - From Zoe

If I may, I would like to reply to the lady who wrote about prison newspapers rarely featuring family issues. I absolutely agree that prisoners families stories and opinions should indeed be featured in such publications.
Some prisoners need to face up to what impact re-offending has on their children and close family members. I have spent hours this week ringing my partners solicitor concerning his prison recall and family members have more contact with the solicitors than the prisoners themselves due to prison phone call charges.
I get landed with ringing my partners solicitor because he needs to save his phone credit to ring his daughter of an evening before she goes to bed. The work families do for prisoners goes unrecognized and the whole concentration is on the offender. I had to trawl the internet to find my partner a prison recall solicitor until I found a suitable and reputable one.
The fact that sites like yours pulls in huge readership proves that there is indeed a need for families of prisoners yet our personal stories hardly make it in to a prison newspaper? I have stopped reading prison newspapers to be quite frank with you because stories just revolve around prisoners serving sentences. What about us who serve their sentences with them? 

UK Prison Newspapers - From Sandra

Hello PFV. My name is Sandra and my partner has just been recalled to prison. 
As partners, family members etc, of those in prison, it is generally WE that spend hours on our phones ringing solicitors and probation officers on behalf of our loved ones because as you know, prison phone call costs can barely give you a decent minute conversation.
What annoys me, and it really does annoy me is that information concerning prisons is nine times out of ten aimed at prisoners only. Yes, they may well be the ones that are serving a prison sentence, but what about the families that are serving their own sentences, spending hours making phone calls to legal firms and battling with probation officers. What I am basically getting at is the prison newspapers around do not actually cater for prisoners families which I find rather disappointing when we the families are the centre piece of our loved ones sentences. The prison newspaper Inside Time and Converse barely in my opinion feature family issues. A third prison newspaper is now out, Jail Mail, and reading that online I have noticed does not feature family issues and I am not being funny but they all should! There should be a dedicated section in every prison newspaper for prisoners families in my opinion. Our loved ones may well be behind bars but it is us that is doing all the running about! Love and best wishes, Sandra. 

Jail Mail The Prison Newspaper

Jail Mail is the new National Prison Paper delivered monthly to all Prisons in England, Wales and Scotland. The paper is run by Human Rights and Prison Law experts with an aim to provide vital news updates to all serving prisoners. We work closely with professionals and experts in and outside of the Prison Service to provide informative articles to help prisoners with all aspects of prison life.


Monday, 27 October 2014

Found On Facebook!

Judging Prisoners Children - From A Teacher

Hi. I would like to remain anonymous please.
I am a teacher and my Father is in prison.
Only the Headmistress knows.
I have been reading your blog for some time because of its interesting content and I would like to share with you my findings.
I have been teaching for five years and more and more children appear to have a parent in prison. Their families do not usually disclose that their partner/husband is in prison, but the children tend to open up and tell us that they have visited their Mother/Father in prison of a weekend.
All we can do as teachers is listen to them.
Little do they know that I myself have a parent serving a prison sentence but I am much older and can accept that my Father is in prison for a reason.
Some of the children who have spoken to me have told me that they visit their Dad's at work, but where he works resembles prison because they have seen pictures of similar places on TV. 
I have seen other children mocking those who have a parent in prison and that is extremely sad to see. Some Mother's try to protect their child by telling them that their Dad works in a large building doing manual labour etc, but I have seen that cover blown when other children shout out that they have seen such-a-bodies Dad in the newspaper because they have been sent to prison. I have witnessed sadness and I have seen children become withdrawn due to their circumstances and taunts from other children.
Naturally this issue is extremely close to my heart. I too am in their situation and I too have a secret. My Father works on the oil rigs. It is easier that way rather than go through the whole process of explaining why he is in prison. You would have thought that at my age I would be able to tell people, but I would rather not and that is my choice. Some of the children I teach don't have a choice because the community has already judged them. Imagine how you would feel if your child was the only child in the classroom that wasn't invited to a party because their Dad is in prison? Yes, it happens because the human race are often ignorant and I am talking about the adults here. I have heard adults in the playground waiting to collect their children at home time discussing a small child whose Father is in prison saying that the child is cut from the same cloth. They have already made up their minds haven't they? But can those who judge categorically state that their own children will remain out of trouble and lead perfect life's? 
Can I just end by saying that if any of your readers are guilty of writing a child off because his/her parent is in prison, just think about your judgement because my Dad may well be behind bars - but I'm not - neither are the children I teach whose Mum or Dad is in prison. 

Halloween Party Ideas!

Feeling Cheated - From Anon Partner

Hi.. I have been reading through your brilliant site and came across some stories about prison pen pals. I already knew my partner before he was sent to prison and we had been together on the out for 4 years. Whilst he was in prison he started writing to a woman. I found out because he was up front on a visit and told me. He said she was just a friend and although I was angry about it I accepted it because I thought that just getting letters off me would be a bit repetitive so I just accepted it. He has been out of prison now for 6 months and I have just found out that he has been meeting up with his lady pen pal in secret. I stood by my man for 5 years whilst he was in prison and I feel absolutely cheated and gutted. I am not sure where we go from here! Yours Anon Partner..

Devastated - From Worried Mum

Please keep me anonymous. My 20 year old son was sentenced to a 2 year prison sentence on Friday. This is tearing my whole family apart, my husband ,my 16 year old son, my brother, my sister, etc... I cannot describe how I feel I don't think there is a word that exist how I feel. it's like a stone in a pond the ripple affects gone on for miles the people left behind struggling to cope without him. He by his own admission had a fantastic childhood we are a hard working family my husband works in the financial sector I'm in marketing he himself a good job in insurance and now we are all left in limbo uncertain of the future all for a stupid mistake he made we are all paying the ultimate price. We have to find out today about the first visit I really need to see him I know it will be hard but I miss him so much already and it's only been 3 days. There is little to no information at the moment until the first visit then I suppose it will become routine with any luck he may be home in 8 months but it's still 8 months too long for a mum who's lost her baby... I'm struggling to function I can't eat or sleep I just don't know how I'm going to do this sentence too...... Yours a very devastated loving Mum

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Halloween Hot Dog Idea!

No Merry Christmas - From Ash

God loves a trier and boy have I tried helping and supporting my partner! He was released last month and I stood by him whilst he was serving his sentence. He promised me that he would never step back foot in prison and more fool me I believed him. But last week little did I know (and I gave him bus fare money) he had skipped his probation appointments and was recalled back to prison! To say I am fuming is an understatement as I planned a fantastic Christmas for the both of us but probation have told me that it is unlikely he will be re-released for Christmas even on appeal. 
Basically he has ruined our future and for those with good supportive families behind them who do this is just plain wrong. I kept the house going and worked hard to pay all the bills whilst he was in prison and this is what he has done! How hard is it to attend a probation appointment? I can't hold his hand and tag along with him on every appointment just to make sure he goes so needless to say that that is me and him over with.
I honestly feel like I have wasted years waiting for him to come home convincing myself that everything will be sweet when he got released but it hasn't worked that way. Sorry for the moan but do people/partners actually do this and risk their freedom by failing to attend their probation appointments? I would like to hear from others if this has happened to them because right now I am furious and heartbroken at the same time. It is said that families who support their loved ones in prison can make a difference and reduce offending? 
I tried but I failed! 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Telling Tales out of Jail

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Telling Tales out of Jail: We’ve recently had a spate of ‘inside’ exclusive stories in the media about celebrity prisoners and their alleged doings in the nick. Altho...

Dad's Drinking Because Son Is In Prison - By Anonymous

Dear Prisoners Families Voices. Please could you not display my full name and email contact thank you. 
My brother is in prison which has affected us all as a family. It has in particular affected our Dad the most and at the age of 84, he has started drinking quite heavily every night because he says that drink gets him through the heartache of his son being in prison. Our Dad has spoken to us about the fact that his son will not be around on the outside when Dad passes away. Yes it is a morbid discussion but it is a fact when all said and done unless Dad lives past 104 years of age. Dad is quite fit and has always looked after himself but since my brother has been sent to prison, he has taken a trip down the drink aisle. We have tried reasoning with Dad but his attitude is that he doesn't see any harm drinking because at 84 he has had a good innings anyway. 
Dad won't go and visit his son because he said he would not be able to cope saying goodbye after every visit and leaving him there would be too painful.
Dad has the impression in his head that prison is like those on America's death row which as we know that UK prison's aren't like that at all. He also thinks that his visits would be behind glass on the telephone which again isn't correct but when we tell him this, he thinks that we are only saying it to get him to visit.
I love my brother and always will but what annoys me is that whilst he is stuck in prison, he does not have to face up to the true impact of his actions like we do here in the outside world. It is very hard and challenging to battle through the imprisonment impact and what my brother has done to land himself in prison in the first place. It's just awful for everyone all round. 

Driven Out Of Her Job - From Anonymous Mum

Without going in to detail, my ex husband has recently been sentenced to prison for a very long time. The story was in the local newspaper and the national ones. 
Our daughter works part-time for a well known company and she has had no choice but to leave her job because one of the bosses had her in the office and asked her if the story (Dad's crime)  is likely to entice reporters at my daughters place of work.
She also felt that she was being treated 'differently' from the other employees too.
She came home last week sobbing in to my arms because whenever she went for her break in the staff canteen, some employees would talk about 'criminals' and discuss that capital punishment should be brought back to Britain. This discussion took place intentionally because everyone at my daughters place of work knows about her Dad. I just thought that I would give Prisoners Families Voices an insight of what older children of prisoners have to face. Her Dad's actions has knocked her confidence and at 17 she has been issued anti-depressants by her doctor to help her to see this through somehow. It is a nightmare. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Prison UK: An Insider's View: The Scariest Prisoner? An Innocent One

Prison UK: An Insider's View: The Scariest Prisoner? An Innocent One: The media has recently carried a rising number of stories of people who have been released from prison after serving very long sentences be...

Monday, 13 October 2014

Bonding After Release From Prison - From Andrew

Hi all. My son was 4 months old when I was sentenced to prison. He is now 5 years old.
At first, I was placed in a jail near to home and my girlfriend brought our son to see me quite a lot which I was very grateful of.
I was then moved to a jail about 2 and a half hours away from home and the bonding with my son came to a halt. My girlfriend did not have her own transport and could not afford the journey to prison via public transport. Also she found it very difficult to travel the distance with our son because he is on a special diet due to his disability. 
I came out of prison when he was 5 and my son was a stranger to me as I was to him. My girlfriend did stay in touch during my sentence and kept me up to date with his progress and development and sent me photos.
Since I have been out of prison, I am finding it difficult to bond with my son. I feel disgusted with myself for saying it and I do love him, but I have missed so much because of my stupid foolish decision to commit a crime. I paid the price for that, but so did my son who is the innocent party no matter which way you look at it. I spoke to my probation officer about the bonding difficulties because when I attend probation, all they do is ask me how I am. Every time I tell them I am finding it hard to bond with my son and they do or say nothing. 
Prison is prison, I except that and I deserved the sentence. But whilst I was in prison, the so called rehabilitation process was virtually nil apart from some diploma's here and there which I achieved studying. But there aren't any diploma's in there for people being released back in to a family environment after a prison sentence. The prison gate opens and that's you thrust back in to a family home that has changed dramatically straight down the line. Maybe the bonding will come naturally and will come in time. Maybe it is me being impatient? I don't know but I thought I would write in to you and let your followers read what it is like from a Father's and ex-prisoners point of view when a family has been separated in this situation. I am fully aware that it is my fault for getting myself in the situation in the first place, but how many children are sentenced too when a parent goes to prison? How is my crime my child's crime? Regards Andrew. 

Ex-Convict Donates Kidney To 'Make New Start'

A woman has received a kidney transplant from a former convict after a desperate appeal in a local newspaper. Sally-Ann Grainger, 34, featured in an article asking for a donor to come forward in January. She went into renal failure after taking medication following a double lung transplant in 2009. Ms Grainger had to have dialysis treatment three times a week and described herself as "barely existing". Even though she was a complete stranger, 33-year-old Wesley Joyce, who spent time in jail for assault, donated his kidney in order to "make a new start". He was one of 10 people to come forward, but the only one who was a tissue and blood match. "This was the perfect opportunity for me to give something back, as long as I matched," Mr Joyce told Sky News. "It wasn't good enough that I said I'd do it, I needed to actually do this."I said to Sally's daughter that I thank her mum for giving me the opportunity to do this."

GDS Prison Diary - Part 41

08.00pm – Quite a busy day in fact it has turned out. Tonight in one hour the TV film on the life of Cilla Black. I have met Cilla few years ago not long after her husband died. Her record ‘Anyone who had a heart’ is the first record I bought I think I was eight or something. Of course I stole 6 and 8 pence which was the cost in those days of records. Three records cost £1. I think I remember on TV hearing she was the first woman to be No 1 in the charts but could be wrong. Today tried to call my little son but can’t get through. Infuriating, with all the phones can’t get through but then it’s my own stupid fault being in this position. I should never have trusted the Government that I would be sent to Italy quickly. Never mind. I have paid a price for my trust and loyalty and now the time has come for me to present the bill!!! The Scottish referendum is nearly here. My God how biased have the BBC been to the ‘yes’ campaign. The Daily Mail also so biased. Jeez there is a threat that if Scotland is independent the Scots will lose ‘Strictly Come Dancing’!!! Seems the English really do need the Scots much more than they can admit.

Where Do I draw The Line? - From Anonymous Mother

Dear Prisoners Families Voices. After doing a google search on sons in prison, I came across your site. My son is in prison and this is his third prison sentence. Like many other Mum's I make sure he is OK and has regular visits. But I will say this, it costs me more financially to make sure he is OK in prison than it does here in the outside world.
I also very often think that if prison is such a bad place, why does he keep going back?
When he served his first prison sentence, I was mortified when he told me that prison wasn't as bad as people make out. When I asked him whether prison was a deterrent, he simply said, no it wasn't.
I am a good decent Mother and person. I have four children and three of them are doing well and have good life's. I have always treated my children the same and have treated them all fairly. I never expected that one of my children would end up in prison. The rest of my children refuse to visit him or contact him in prison. They have washed their hands of him because this is his third time in prison. That just leaves me to pick up the pieces and try to get to the bottom of why he perhaps prefers prison than living at home. All sorts has run through my mind and I have tossed and turned of a night with my brain on overload trying to find a solution. I know the main solution is for my son to take responsibility for his own actions but what work and support has been put in place for him just isn't working. Probation provide no support and other services that are involved do not seem to be helping him. I just don't want to be prison visiting for the rest of my life. I am in a dilemma also because my other children disagree with me sending him money and buying things to make his life easier in prison which I guess that is what I am doing. But I'm his Mum and I love him. I just wish I knew where to draw the line. Thanks for listening and please protect my name and details. Thank you. 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Prison Governors: a Mysterious Presence

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Prison Governors: a Mysterious Presence: This post is in response to a recent request from a blog reader who asked me to share my thoughts on prison governors. To be honest, it was...

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Cutting All Ties? - From Tired Mum

Hello Guys and Girls! I read the blog post about mollycoddled prisoners and would like to comment if I may.
My son is in prison at the moment and this isn't his first time inside either.
I have always stood by him like many other Mum's in this situation and I am guilty of running to his beck and call when he wants money or clothes etc.
Last week he rang me and asked for fifty pounds. He wanted me to send the money to an inmates girlfriend to which I replied to with a definite no! He hung up on me and that was that.
A few hours later (off a mobile phone) I got a call from a guy saying that my son owed him money for 'stuff' in prison. Little did I know and call me daft or whatever, that my lad was using drugs in prison.
I hung up on the mystery guy and then thought that if I didn't 'pay up' would my son be in danger? I guess he would be, but call me an awful Mother, I was not giving in to demands, in fact I couldn't and cannot give in to demands because I cannot afford too! My son rang me a few days later telling me that he is on another wing which I am thinking is some sort of protection wing? 
Not only do I have to put up with the shame of my son's wrong-doings and sweeping up the rubble when he goes to prison, but I also have to put up with crap whilst he's in prison too and I have had enough. I can barely make ends-meet myself and I work full time! 
I am just sat here in thought wondering how many other Mum's or Dad's are having the same issues with money demands from prison? Chris Crayling bans everything that benefits a prisoner/s yet cannot get on top of the drugs crisis in prisons? That's one battle he won't and cannot win! 
In the meantime and yes this is a rant, parents like me and probably many others are being badgered for money from our loved ones in prison. As sad as this may sound and I know this will not go down too well with some of your blog readers, but I feel like changing my phone number and cutting all ties with my son until actually gets out of prison never mind maintaining them! Maintaining ties with my son just labels me a human cash machine and I am tiring with it.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Two’d Up… the Joys of Sharing a Cell

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Two’d Up… the Joys of Sharing a Cell: Most prisoners who aren’t in Cat-A (high security) prisons are likely to end up sharing a cell for at least part of their sentences – somet...