Sunday, 25 September 2016

It's a prison brain wash tactic - By Prison Widow Global

The Government agree that prison visiting reduces re-offending. Now I won't blame the charities or orgs for promoting this ridiculous concoction because the Government pump flowery info in to them- but let us not put flowers on it.
Drug testing before a prison visit is a deterrent but if this was a scheme introduced when I visited my ex, I'd have wasted a ton of money travelling because his eyes were near on always pinned when I saw him on a visit. Terrible isn't it? Which is why the prison service need to get a grip. 
Many children - and I mean many children, are affected by substance misuse. You've read it here on my blog - a child is bullied at school because other kids are calling his dad a smack-head and so forth. 
Let me give you a true account of what prisoners children go through shall I:

1) Their parent or both parents are addicted to drugs.
2) One or both parents are convicted of a drug related crime.
3) They are sent to prison! 
4) They continue to use drugs in prison! 
5) The Government urge prisoners families to maintain ties. 
6) A child visits Mum or Dad in prison who has just had a toot of heroin. 
7) Is this a real case scenario? 
8) You can bet your bottom dollar it is! 

Why should any child visit a parent in prison who is still abusing drugs? Why? 
In society, children who are bought up around addiction have a rough deal and society, let's have it right, tut and blow and social services are never away from the families doorstep - but here's the funny thing - if their drug addicted parent is banged up in the British system and is still using illegal substances inside - let's push the children and families to maintain 'family' ties? Pardon my French but it is the biggest load of bollocks and anyone who honestly believes that maintaining family ties reduces re-offending works, email me with proven statistics and not doctored ones please. ;-)

Drug test before a prison visit - From Ian

From Ian in Kent. 

Drug testing before a prison visit is a good idea in my eyes. It's alright maintaining family ties but why should children sit on visits with a parent who is still under the influence of drugs? I'm an ex-con, I have seen it, done it, and worn the shirt! 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Prison UK: An Insider's View: HMP Lincoln: the Sound of Silence

Prison UK: An Insider's View: HMP Lincoln: the Sound of Silence: Something happened at HMP Lincoln on Thursday 15 September, but it seems clear that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) doesn’t want anyone to kno...

How to Stop Blaming Yourself for Your Loved One's Addiction

It’s difficult to watch our loved ones spiral into their addiction. Sometimes, it can become so painful that we start to question if we’re responsible for what has happened to them. However, friends and family members of addicts can stop placing the blame on themselves by utilizing something called "The 3 C's Rule." The three C’s stand for “I didn’t Cause it,” “I can’t Cure it,” and “I can’t Control it." To help you get rid of guilt and guard your mental health, here’s an in-depth explanation of the three C’s. 1. “I didn’t Cause it.” Generally, this is an important mantra when it comes to healthy relationships. The rule of three C’s operates from the belief that everyone is responsible for their own actions and behaviors, including the addict and those who love them. When talking to someone who is in the throes of addiction, they may resort to blaming statements such as, “you drove me to use,” “you made me do this,” or “because of you, now I can’t stop.” These kinds of hurtful statements are often used as a manipulation tactic to guilt the loved one into handing them more money or giving them one more chance. In short, they want to be enabled. Often, these statements also indicate that the addict is not ready to identify themselves as the true source of the problem and is instead looking for a scapegoat. Don’t fall victim to these statements. It can be easy to think that when someone treats us poorly, there must be a justified reason for it. However, “I didn’t cause it” forces us to recognize that we are not responsible for another person’s behavior, only our own. 2. “I can’t Cure it.” As we desperately scramble for any sort of solution to our loved one’s disease, it is important to remember that there is no one-trick fix for all cases of addiction or mental illness. Different people respond differently to various types of treatment and require different lengths of time to get well. Additionally, this mantra reminds us that there is no hard and fast cure for addiction. The truth is, there will never be a day where an addict wakes up and will no longer be an alcoholic, and that will be the individual’s life long journey; hopefully in recovery. While there are resources available to help improve their lives, the temptation will always be there and holding out for an end-all be-all cure will only result in disappointment and failed expectations. 3. “I can’t Control it.” “I can’t cure it” reminds us that we alone cannot change anyone until they themselves are ready to change. Those that suffer from addiction or mental illness are often resistant to change and avoid treatment out of fear. As much as loved ones are tempted to force those suffering into treatment, rehabilitation programs find that treatment is more successful when those suffering are ready and willing to contribute to their healing. In this way, this mantra relieves the loved ones of their perceived burden of having to “fix them.” Often times it is the addict that becomes the focus of recovery, but the lives of family members also go through a traumatic change. Remember that there are support group that exist for your emotional recovery as well. After all, it is important to keep your emotional and mental well-being just as much of a priority as the addict’s in recovery.

                                    SOBER RECOVERY 

Drug test prisoners before a visit - from Heidi

Excellent top post by Prison Widow! 
When a drug addict goes to rehab, they do not see their families for months! I did not, in fact was not allowed to see my man for 14 weeks. Yes I was allowed phone calls but I did not see or visit him and that is exactly how it should be. 
When he went to prison, he was using drugs whilst he was in there and when I found this out, there was no way on earth I intended to maintain these so called family ties by wiping his butt and mollycoddling him. I went through all that previously and I put his prison needs before mine and my children's. I think for some families visiting is productive but sorry, a repeat offender who is an addict and remains an addict in prison I think families should stay away until that person grows up and intends to change. I once took my daughter to see her dad in prison and his eyes were pinned up meaning he'd had a toot of whatever before our visit. My daughter does not need to be around a father who takes drugs, be it out here or banged up in prison. Good on you girl for saying it as it is! In fact, prisoners should be drug tested before a visit and if they test positive, the prison service should cancel their visit! Drugs should not be available in prison, simple as. It's a farce! From Heidi. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Rehab not Prison - From Anonymous

Please refer to me as Anonymous. 
My 23 year old son died from an heroin overdose last year. He started using the drug when he was 17. Needless to say for those 2 years, it was a living hell.
Every time I walk to the shops, I see young people and people of all ages stood around scoring drugs. Having been through this terrible experience with my son, addicts are easy to spot, especially heroin addicts.
I loathe this drug with a passion and I feel that the Government and the Police aren't doing enough to combat the epidemic. Drug dealers, be it high to low level, should face tougher sentences and those sentenced for drug related crimes should be sentenced to a proper closed rehab facility. Prison does not work for drug addicts. It is a pointless exercise. Without a doubt any crime committed should be dealt with by the courts but as others have pointed out on your blog, why sentence a drug addict to prison when prisoners are selling drugs inside? It is completely pointless. Prison absolutely does not nor cannot rehabilitate a drug addict. The revolving door issue will continue and the doors will not stop rotating. 
My son served a short prison sentence for theft, a spate of thefts he committed to feed his heroin addiction. He absolutely would never have stolen before he became addicted to drugs. In fact even if he found a pound coin on the floor, he'd have handed it in! He stole purely because he needed heroin. Heroin alters the chemicals in your brain. Long story short, your brain will crave this drug forever therefore addicts more or less will re-offend. It stands to reason and you can bet your bottom dollar that addicts make up a very large number in the prison estate. I am confident that drug addicts and dealers will keep the prison service ticking over nicely. 
Burying your child is one of the worst things a parent can go through. I am still extremely bitter that a drug took him away. He wasn't a bad lad. He thrived at school and achieved high grades. He was well mannered and popular - until he made that one stupid choice to try heroin. Bit by bit and little by little, his once fresh appearance turned in to that of a pale grey one. He self-neglected and looked dirty. I used to prompt him to take a shower and he refused saying there was nothing wrong with how he looked. He was always in denial. His whole personality changed and I didn't know him anymore. Heroin is a like an entity that suffocates the soul and the kind loving child you once knew is no more.
I shudder when I see an addict in the street because one day their loved ones will probably have to go through what I went through and I really wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Anonymous 

The beast of all drugs - from an addict

I rarely cry but did when I read the post about the young kid who is bullied because his dad is a drug addict. 
I am an heroin addict. I work full time to fund my habit and I have been to prison twice in my life. I am 45 years old.
I have a son who is now 20 and the last time we had contact was when he was 17. 
He grew up around junkies so who can blame him for mapping out a straight decent life. You're probably thinking why I still take drugs. Well I have been in 3 rehabs and have relapsed 5 times. The longest I have stayed off the gear is 4 months and even then I substituted heroin with cannabis and alcohol. 
It hits home when you read things about kids being affected by parents who take drugs. 
I'm an idiot, a complete idiot who got sucked in but believe me that just coming off heroin and stopping taking it is hard work. Heroin is the beast of all drugs. Don't go down that road - please. From an addict. 

Maintaining Family Ties? Ha! - From Vonnie

Correct Prison Widow spot on!!!
I've wasted about 7 years prison visiting and it is (BS) that families of prisoners reduce re-offending!!! The only person to reduce re-offending is the bloody person who is prolifically committing crime!
I have stopped listening to the clap-trap these do-gooders are coming out with.
Why should I live on false hope my partner (now ex) is going to change his ways when it's down to him (not me) to do that. Put it this way, he goes to jail because he knows for a fact (muggins here) will visit and pander to his needs! I am with Prison Widow all the way and bloody well done girl for saying it as it is! 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Man sentenced to months in jail is still behind bars 10 years later under sentence that no longer exists

A man sentenced to 17 months in prison for threatening to kill a former partner during a heated row is still behind bars more than 10 years later. Jason Thorne, 43, of Cardiff, is still in Parc Prison at Bridgend because he was jailed under a sentencing regime called IPP – Imprisonment for Public Protection. It is no longer used because UK Government Ministers came to the conclusion it was unjust. However, although IPP has been abolished for new prisoners, it is still in place for those who were given IPP sentences at the time of their conviction. She said Thorne had recently been in an open prison leading up to his release but had been returned to a closed prison. Rossadded: “He accepts that he should not have made the threat to kill, but it was one of those things said in the heat of the moment when he was very upset.”Thorne’s solicitor Bill Cordingley, of Cardiff solicitors Morgan Criminal Law, said: “We have a number of prisoners still in jail on IPP sentences, and Jason’s case is the worst in terms of the length of time he has remained in jail.“IPP sentences were introduced in 2005 for people who were considered to be a potential danger to the public.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Forest Bank prison staff 'failed to pass on information' about inmate who died from asthma attack

Salford’s Forest Bank has been criticised after a young inmate died in another prison. Ashley Gill, 25, died from an asthma attack in his cell at HMP Liverpool in Walton after being moved from Forest Bank, at Agecroft. An inquest heard that healthcare staff at Forest Bank failed to transfer information relating to Ashley’s asthma and prescribed medication when he went to Walton. Ashley suffered from chronic brittle asthma, which he had since he was a child. Ashley did not receive health screening after arriving at HMP Liverpool and was not assigned a chronic disease manager due to staff shortages. Fifteen days after his transfer Ashley formally complained about not receiving his medication. He never received his full medication while at Walton. An inquest jury found that neglect contributed to his death. This included failure by Forest Bank to provide initial information regarding his care plan and medication.

Comment: Forest Bank shame on you! Condolences to the young man's family.

Addicted to the addict - from Heather

Hi. Before my man was sent to jail I had 3 years of sheer hell because he was an addict. I loved him but I was an enabler and enabler's they say are addicted to the addict!! I agree with Prison Widow that some family members have been traumatized way before their loved one was sent to jail and for me it was a relief when my man was sent to jail because his addiction made me very ill. 
I was also petrified when his release date neared because I dreaded him going back on drugs but he never had come off the drugs because he was at it in prison. 
My man died of an overdose cocktail last year and I am still devastated. I went to see him in his coffin and I shouted at him, ''how dare you leave me and your son for a £10.00 bag of drugs!! The Government do not give a sh*t and the so called war on drugs is a farce!! I so hate drugs!! Thank you all for talking about this subject because it is important. 

What does maintaining family ties mean? By Prison Widow Global

It frustrates me and I feel angry when I read all the posts about families struggling with addiction. 
We read all these leaflets and articles on prisoners families and advice on "your first time visiting prison" and where to seek support when a loved one is sent to prison; but; for many families, they're used to it. They are veteran's and no one can support them if their loved one is a drug addict- that's unless their loved one is hell-bent on coming off the drugs. Many, many drug addicts whilst serving a prison sentence will tell their loved ones that they are finished with drugs and that this is their last prison sentence. It's bull-shit. For 1, prisoners can get their hands on drugs in prison. For 2, prison is not a rehab and for 3, be it heroin your loved one is addicted to - detoxing and staying off the gear altogether is a battle not many win. Some do, don't get me wrong, but many take the needle and the spoon to their graves. 
For me and in my humble opinion; there is not enough support for prisoners families, and families in general, who have loved ones addicted to smack. 
There isn't enough support for children who do not understand why their parent is in prison and what led their parent to commit a drug related crime. The bloody country is flooded with drugs so why brush the topic under the carpet and tell your child that Mummy or Daddy is 'working away?' You use drugs; the consequences are that you will at some point land your sorry backside in prison. What is wrong telling your kids about the dangers of drugs? Every estate and street in the UK has a dealer or junkie living on it and as for the middle class - well you're not out of the woods either because there's many a parasite earning a pretty penny from drug trafficking. You don't see it because they aren't addicts; they get the addicts to sell it for them - they're called low-level street dealers and you cannot miss them. 
Maintaining ties, i.e,prison visiting, reduces re-offending? It doesn't, simple as!
I supported my partner and religiously visited him in prison, sent postal orders, bought him clothes and trainers, sent him stamps, you name it! I absolutely maintained family ties and I was enabling him also because he bought drugs in prison, traded in clothes, and God knows what else for a toot of heroin in his in cell. People, Government, charities and Orgs, you need to get a grip here and look in to what you are pushing on families. What does maintaining family ties actually mean? It does not end on page 25 - 'and they all lived happily ever after.' How does, maintaining family ties in prison work when families have constantly been banging their heads against a brick wall BEFORE their loved ones were sent to prison? Families of drug addicts just don't go to bed one night and wake up in the morning with their son or daughter in prison. They have gone through the mill and then some for months before the sweat box delivered them to HMP. 

Alison Henderson 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Sober Recovery - From Bernie

Dear Prison Widow UK... I just wanted to let you know that I found Sober Recovery on your blog site and it is the best support forum around for families who's loved ones are addicted to drugs! They have a stand alone forum and I have learned so so much! It is ace and thank you. Hugs Bernie 

Your Dad's a smackhead! - from Mumof2

My son doesn't get bullied at school because his Dad's in prison; he gets taunted because his Dad is a heroin addict. The other kids shout at him; 'hey your Dad's a dirty smackhead'! My son's Dad has been in prison and no bullying whatsoever took place at all. I'm not being funny or anything but a lot of kids parents in my community and the kids a school do not bat an eyelid at the word prison and sadly it is a common thing. The only time a kid will get bullied with the prison thing is if it involves a sex offence; other than that; no; prison is a matter of fact subject. 
I have split with my son's Dad obviously because of his heroin addiction but he still lives in my community hence why the kids are taunting my boy. His Dad looks an absolute tramp and my son is embarrassed to high heaven. 
If you read your local newspapers; you will see endless Coroner's Court Cases on people overdosing on this evil disgusting drug. It is honestly like living among zombies and the Government are doing sweet FA about the problem! My son's Dad being in prison is a doddle compared to him being out high as a kite smacked up! 

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Prison and living with dementia - from Helen

My Dad is in prison and he has just been diagnosed with having dementia.
To try and understand this I went on a dementia awareness course and learnt a lot. 
Mental stimulation and keeping active is essential for those living with dementia but I don't see how this can be possible in prison. Staff need to be made aware of this. I know people will say that my Dad deserves to be in prison and I agree with that but the prison service have a duty of care to understand the illness and attend to his needs. I would love to know what training and resources are in place for those living with dementia in prison. Please if anyone has any information, it would be greatly appreciated. Regards Helena. 

Fresh bid to get a longer jail term for Oscar Pistorius

Prosecutors in South Africa are to make a fresh attempt to get Oscar Pistorius' six-year murder sentence increased. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it will file papers on Friday. Two weeks ago, it asked the country's High Court to overturn Pistorius' sentence but the request was thrown out. Now it is taking its case to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. The 29-year-old runner shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his home on Valentine's Day in 2013.

Maintaining family ties worked for me - from ex offender

Please don't use my real name. 
I was a crack addict and went to prison in 2010 for crimes relating to drugs including prostitution.
Being away from my kids was enough to sort myself out and prison is not a place I will be going back to. I want to be honest about the effects of using hard drugs. I have HEP C and was tested for HIV. I self neglected myself because crack was the love of my life. I did not care about myself, my kids or my family. I sold my body to drug dealers, strangers and did some shocking things. But as long as I got my fix I did not care less. 
One night I was assaulted by a punter but I was back working on the streets the night after because I needed my drugs. 
Prison was a big wake up call for me. My Mum in her late 60's looked after my 2 kids whilst I served my time and she was stressed out to the max worrying about me and how she was going to cope. It was a real messy situation. 
Being in prison wasn't easy but it was easier than being on the out if that makes any sense. For me the real hard work was being released from prison because the temptation on the out is far greater. Yes people can get their hands on drugs in prison but it isn't the same as on the out. 
My family supported me and without them I would not be here today. I'd be buried in a graveyard along with the rest of my crack addicted associates. 
Maintaining family ties was important for me. It was heartbreaking seeing my kids but I needed that stress to focus on getting better. I wanted to be a Mum, not a crack addict! 
Maintaining family ties worked for me but I understand the tough love approach and I understand why some families walk away. Living or even being around an addict is stressful and addicts hurt the ones they love. For those who are serious about recovery, I wish you all the best and please don't give up. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

What sacrifices will prisoners make for families - from Anonymous

If I may, I would like to comment on Sean's (ex offender) post.
I had always been under the impression that maintaining ties with prisoners was a positive step forward, but I now have my doubts. My husband has been to prison five times and we have been together nearly eleven years. He also has a substance misuse problem and his drug of choice is heroin. He began by smoking it and moved on to injecting it. He requires it every day just to feel normal. He works full time and funds his own addiction. I maintain the house with my wages and the situation is not good. 
We don't have a normal healthy relationship because how can anyone have a normal healthy relationship when one is addicted to an illegal substance. 
I love my husband but he and heroin is not enough. I am forever anxious and cannot cope being around him anymore. 
We argue about how much he spends on heroin, which is all of his wages, and we row about his lack of contribution to the household. He then blames his drug usage on me saying I am getting on his case all the time. I am always begging him to detox but he makes excuses. 
I feel bitter because I am going out of my way to visit him in prison, and those journey's are costly, only to look in to eyes and see he has been using something. Why should I bother maintaining our bonding when he is using substances in prison? In my view, he is taking the mickey and has no intention of detoxing. Why should I bother? Maintaining family ties with prisoners is all very well and good but where is the prisoners side of the bargain? If a prisoner tests positive for substance misuse then personally for me, they should be banned from seeing their loved ones for x-amount of time. People will argue with me that this breaches a prisoners human rights, but when all said and done, illegal substances should not be available in prisons. If they put in a visit ban, it would be interesting to see how many prisoners value their families and loved ones. We spend hundreds of pounds to visit our loved ones in prison - what sacrifices will the prisoners make to see us? From Anonymous Reader 

Live Discussion!

Maghaberry Prison staff 'watched' as inmate blinded himself

Prison staff who watched but failed to intervene as a mentally ill prisoner blinded himself and injured his groin area have been strongly criticised. A report by NI's Prisoner Ombudsman has said Sean Lynch inflicted "extreme and shocking" self-harm over three days. The 23-year-old was held in Maghaberry Prison, a high security jail. Mr Lynch's father said the recommendations in the report offered "no comfort." The report said on the final day, two prison officers watched as he injured himself on more than 20 occasions in an "ordeal" that lasted for over an hour. 'Crying in pain'Prison officers "directly observed" the inmate for more than a quarter of the time, the report added.CCTV cameras showed Sean Lynch shouting and crying in pain and banging his cell door, but the officers did not try to stop him.

My Codependency - From Kelly Anne

Hello to all.
When I read Sean's post, it hit me hard.
I tried so hard to help my addict partner quit drugs that I feel a fool and embarrassed. It was a massive learning curve and I learnt the hard way. 
My partner, now ex partner, was using heroin and smoked weed. He lied, manipulated me, stole from me and cheated. Even though I knew he was lying through his back teeth, I believed his lies! It sounds crazy but I was so co dependant I just went along with it. Looking back on things now I feel so dumb I was taken in by it all but it happened and I cannot turn back the clock. My partner was always getting in to trouble and the Police were always knocking on my door. I was with him for four years and he served 2 prison sentences. I hated visiting him in prison but felt it was my duty as a partner. I just did not want to be in that situation but poor me thought I could change him. I couldn't and I didn't because he was a drug addict. As far as I know he still is and I have heard he is in prison again.
Thank you Sean for sharing your experience. It really is all down to the individual to change. Families cannot do it for them! Best wishes to all, Kelly Anne.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Rehabilitation is your own responsibility - From Sean Ex-Offender

Dear Editor. I'm an ex offender and I have been in prison (3) three times. 
I am in recovery (drugs) and I have been clean for (2) years. It has been a struggle and still is but I am staying positive. 
Your blog is excellent and I tune in every day to read what ex-offenders and families have to say. 
Some of the opinions I have read on prisoner rehabilitation are pretty much spot on. To be fair though it is all down to the individual. 
My family supported me and stood by me when I went to prison but it didn't stop me from going back there. I was a drug addict and no one can help a drug addict. It's all down to the addict to say enough is enough. I re-offended because I needed money to buy my drugs and I didn't care where I got the money from. I burgled, shop-lifted, you name it. Drugs were my main priority and any addict should they wish to admit it will tell you the same. Shamefully I treated my loved ones like dirt and it hurts. But when I was using drugs nothing and no one mattered. My family maintained ties with me but I was still scheming how to get my hands on some drugs when I got back on to the wing whilst I was sat there chatting with them. I hate to say this but maintaining ties with a prisoner who is addicted to drugs does not make a difference unless that person is dead set on rehabilitating themselves. I'm (2) years clean and I will never be out of the woods. My rehabilitation is life-long and I cannot say I will not relapse. I take a day at a time. 
The Prison Service cannot rehabilitate people. They can only provide the props. How you use those props is entirely down to yourselves. 
In the end, my family took serious steps and washed their hands of me until I took a grip of my life. They'd had it to the back teeth of travelling all over the UK wasting their hard earned money to visit their son in prison who couldn't care less and was still messing around with drugs. I wasn't progressing at all in prison and although like many other prisoners I convinced myself that when I got out I was going to get a job, settle down, stay off the drugs and live a straight happily ever after life (pipe dreams) it was all wishful thinking because I'd always arranged to score drugs within half hour of my release and I was high before I even sat in the probation office. I didn't care. 
Family support is important but you need to be surrounded by family who take no nonsense.You need to be with family members who do not dabble in drugs. Friends who use drugs have to be kept at arms length and let me just make this clear; coming off heroin is the easy part; staying off it is a battle and with heroin you will never win the war - the battle is continuous and there are days when I would love to feel 'that' feeling. 
I'm doing OK and for the first time in my life I do not want to go back to prison. If I was still using drugs, I wouldn't be bothered if I went back. In fact at some point I'd expect to back to prison. I am going to set up my own blog and write about my recovery. 
What I have realized is this, the prison service cannot wave a magic wand and rehabilitate people. The process is down to you, not your family, probation officer or social worker, it's all down to one person and that is YOU. 

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Cons and Conjugal Bliss

Prison UK: An Insider's View: Cons and Conjugal Bliss: I’d like to thank Philip Davies MP for providing the inspiration behind this blog post. I rarely have anything positive to write about Mr Da...

Prisoners families are being fooled - by Guest Blogger

Contribution from Guest Blogger 

So the Government; organisations, charities and companies promote maintaining family ties helps to reduce re-offending - oh really? Considering that my partner (who comes from a close loving family) is a prolific offender; any tips on what we as a family are doing wrong?
We visit him; we make sure he has enough money; we clothe him and we are always there for him - why does he spend more time in prison than he does at home?
I have no intentions of tip-toeing through the tulips with this one because quite simply I think all this maintaining family ties talk is a load of rubbish! Let's face it; if families of prisoners don't go through to the visiting rooms; HMP and those are privatized do not make money - prison is a lucrative business and families contribute to the profits.
I have met lots of family members I have seen before and their loved ones seem to prefer prison to home also so as far as I am concerned; we are being used as a bloody excuse to justify a failing system. Don't be fooled!

The terror of young offender institutions

Levels of violence in young offender institutions have been described as unacceptably high, with inmates and staff facing the daily threat of beatings and stabbings. The government is promising a thorough review of the system. But what's life like for young people who get locked up? "Fights happened from day to day, any time of the day," says Stephen Knight. "From silly little things like tobacco being stolen or towels being misplaced, simple little petty things caused inmates to have fights all the time."Mr Knight was one of 1,500 people imprisoned for their part in the rioting in English cities during the summer of 2011.Aged 17, he was sent to Feltham Young Offender Institution, in west London, notorious for its levels of violence.

Prison isn't a healthy marriage - From Patti

Hello. I am a prisoners wife and counting.
My husband has been in prison X4. 
I was reading the post by the Mum who said prison doesn't bother her son and I am thinking that it doesn't faze my husband either. It's OK for people to promote the 'stand by your man' thing but where do you draw the line? I love my husband but is this really a marriage when he is spending the majority of it behind bars? Me visiting him in prison all the time is not what I call a healthy marriage. What do you think? 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Prison isn't that bad Mum - From Anon

Hi, I would like my name and details to remain anonymous please. 
My son is in prison for the 2nd time and is addicted to heroin and legal highs. I read the post ''back to square one'' and this is exactly how I feel. 
My son admitted he used drugs during his last sentence so when he was released; within a matter of hours; if that; he was scoring drugs again off his local dealer. A few months down the line he got in to trouble and was recalled to prison. His prison sentence was a pointless exercise. He was convicted of burglary and the victims were happy he was sent to prison. That's fair enough; he deserved to go to prison but he was still getting his hands on the drugs which got him in there in the first place so it was pointless. There was absolutely no lesson learnt whatsoever. 
I read stories about drones being used to ship drugs in to prison, families smuggling drugs, prison officers smuggling drugs, and it angers me. 
I visit my son, reluctantly might I add, and he is fine. He never looks down or fed up and the scary thing is, he says he's fine and there's some top lads in there! My view is, as soon as my son gets off the prison van, he is immediately being set up to fail. He has become a cash cow for the prison service and I have no doubt he will earn them more money because this will not be his last prison sentence. There;s no deterrent, he's said it himself, ''prison isn't that bad Mum so don't worry about me!'' 

Back to square one after prison release - from YH

That little kid in the back of the car looking on as his parents were smacked up broke my heart. 
My sister is in prison and was charged with a drugs offence. Our family have tried and tried to help her but after years of trying we have finally accepted that she is the only one who can sort herself out. 
I love my sister but I do not like what she has become. Everything about her changed when heroin took over her body and mind. 
She was always a responsible kid and she used to look down at drug addicts. Yes she is now riddled with a disease but she acquired her illness through bad choices. My daughter is 15, she is educated as far as drugs are concerned and she has seen the consequences of heroin addiction with her aunt. If she makes the choice years down the line to use smack then she has made the worst choice ever. I agree that addiction is an illness but I also think it is an illness purely by choice. Heroin addiction is a hard one to beat and not many do it. 
My sister is still using drugs in prison so sending her there to teach her a lesson hasn't worked and won't work when she is released because she will be back to square one when she's out. The Government are all head set on obesity and stopping smoking but where drugs are concerned, its almost like they couldn't care less. It's a crazy world that's for sure! 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Disgusting Heroin - From Saz

Hi to blog readers! :-) 
I honestly could not believe my eyes when I saw the heroin OD couple on the news!
The poor poor child! I'm sorry but come on.. where is this universal war on drugs? 
This has to stop and I don't know about the rest of your readers but in my area... the drug situation is getting way out of hand!
I left my husband because he did not want to quit this beast (heroin) and the inevitable happened.. he got an abscess and died. The photo (right) knocked me physically sick and I am disgusted every time I see a junkie slither past me in the street. I hate heroin and I have a good reason to hate it. It destroys life's and it destroys families. Dealers should be locked up for life because they are selling illegal substances that are killing people. There is an outcry when anyone with a terminal illness wishes to die with dignity by ending their life's yet this situation (drugs) will continue to take life's every day and the Governments and the criminal justice systems aren't clamping down. It is sickening..
Imagine what that poor child was seeing in his home? How many times has his parents shot up heroin and gone over (OD) right before his eyes? Perhaps now the child will have a better life away from the world of drugs... 
Just look at the state of them! Pitiful! 

Prisoners Families - By Darren Ex Offender

Dear PW/UK 
My name is Darren and I am an ex offender.
It is only since I got myself straight that I really thought of prisoners families and the trauma they go through. 
I put my Mum through sheer hell and back and my girlfriend got some stick off her family and friends because I was a poor excuse of a partner. 
Prisoners families are a tough bunch of people and families of prisoners who stand by their loved ones time and time again are special people. 
I have read a lot of stories on your site and it has made me sit back and really reflect on the shame I have brought on my family. I have been given chance after chance and just threw it back in their faces. 
I never used to care about going back to prison because I always knew my family would stand by me and they did. I wanted for nothing and my girlfriend always made sure I was OK for money and clothes and stamps etc. 
Prisoners families are always frowned upon especially when visiting their loved ones. Prisons are crap places to visit lets face it yet our families never let us down and carry on visiting regardless of whether a screw scowls at them. 
I have been to prison 7 times. I'm not proud of it, not at all, and I have wasted a good few years of my life banged up in HMP. To all prisoners families out there, I salute you all because you do not have it easy at all. Luckily I don't have kids and I feel for the kids who have to visit their mums and dads in prison. 
I am a recovering drug addict and have been clean now for 2 years so the feelings I suppressed have swam their way to the surface and the real thoughts and feelings hurt, especially those of my irresponsible past and the heartache I have caused towards both my family and the victims of crime. 

I am the one serving the sentence

Please do not use my real name.
My partner has just been convicted of a real bad offence. I have had eggs thrown at my window and my young daughter has been bullied. 
I am on the verge of a breakdown and have nowhere and no one to talk to.
I never asked for any of this so why do I feel like I am the criminal when I have done nothing wrong? I am so scared for my daughter and she certainly never asked for any of this! 
Whilst he is protected by the prison service - My daughter and I are serving a sentence out here because we are being taunted and targeted. 

A list of support groups have been emailed to the above person. 

'Heroin Overdose' Couple Pictured With Child In Back Of Car

Pictures have emerged which show a couple unconscious in a car after allegedly overdosing on heroin while a four-year-old boy is in the back. The disturbing photographs were published by a small police department in the US state of Ohio, which claimed it represents what their force deals with on a daily basis. James Acord, who was behind the wheel, was stopped for driving erratically and lost consciousness soon after he talked to an officer. Police records show Rhonda Pasek, the female passenger, had already passed out and was "turning blue" when ambulances arrived. Both reportedly received several rounds of a drug called Narcan, which is commonly used to reverse an opiate overdose.

Monday, 5 September 2016

A wrecked family unit - from anonymous

Dear Prison Widow UK. Please don't publish my real name. Thanks in advance.
My partner is in prison convicted of fraud. I had no idea she was committing fraud.
Anyway, this week she sent me a letter saying that we were over. She has fallen in love with another inmate of the same sex.
I am devastated. We have been in a relationship for 9 years and have a 6 year old little girl. I have cut my hours down at work so I can care for her whilst her Mum is in prison. It's not easy but I'm her Dad and she comes first. 
In the letter, she says that she does not want me to visit her and that her Mother will bring our daughter to see her. The family unit has been wrecked and I do not know what to do or who to turn to. I am in pieces. 

Information and a list of support groups have been forwarded to the sender. 

Bipolar and Prison - By EFT

I read with interest the post (below) about someone's partner (with mental health problems) being recalled to prison. 
I have Bipolar disorder. I will have manic episodes and episodes where I will not get out of bed. 
Prison's (the system) do not ''get'' mental health.
If you met me on a manic episode you would have me down as being overly friendly and great to be around. If you met me on my low, you would have me down as being suicidal! I have struggled for years with the illness. It isn't nice. 
If someone rattles my cage, I can snap and what projects out of my mouth is nasty. When I'm great, I'm great! I haven't been in prison but if someone does not understand Bipolar, and especially in prison, the disorder could very well get you in deep trouble and through no fault of your own. My partner (ex) has been in prison because of crimes he committed connected with his drug use. He got help in prison and every time he was ill doing his rattle, it was accepted - but no one ''gets'' the mental thing! I have randomly come out with things I absolutely do not mean. My family understand but people in general think I'm rude. I'm not rude. I have a condition that makes me this way. For a better word, I am 2 people. No matter how many celebs come out and talk about mental health, there is still a massive stigma. It angers me. Lots of things are accepted in this day and age now - but mental health is still hush hush and taboo. To say it winds me up is an understatement! By EFT 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Mental Health and Prison Recall

I would like to remain anonymous, please. My partner was recalled to prison 6 months ago for breaching his SOPO during a psychotic episode ( he has bipolar disorder). He really needs to see a psychiatrist about his medication because it clearly isn't working as well as it used to (he had not had an episode like that for more than 5 years), but, although 2 appointments have been made for him by Mental Health Services at the prison, each time the psychiatrist has failed to turn up. When this happens, there is no explanation and he has to put in a complaint about it to try and get another one arranged. I really don't understand how it can be so difficult, or how else he can get the help he needs. He needs his medication reviewing and sorting to get him stabilised. How on earth do they think he is going to manage his behaviour and reduce his risk of offending while he is like this? It's as if the judicial, prison and probation services all completely ignore the mental health aspects of a person's offending. If the impact of drug and alcohol dependency can be understood to impact behaviour, why can’t they understand that a serious mental illness will? Regards from Anonymous.

Friday, 2 September 2016

What's the point of prison? - From a prisoners partner

My partner; who has a drug problem; has been sent to prison.
The judge said he will get the required help. As soon as my partner arrived at HMP; he was offered drugs; took some and has started asking me for money.
Seriously; what is the point of him serving a prison sentence for a crime related to drugs when he is using drugs in prison? Is the Government and criminal justice system for real? 
I have told my OH (other half) that he will not be getting any visits from me and he knows I will stick to my word.
To be honest; I am tired of standing by someone who obviously doesn't want to change things around. How much pain can addicts/offenders put their families through? I am poorly; I feel ill and I have literally had it to my back teeth of being led a song and dance by someone who is supposed to love me. Rant over; thanks for listening. From a prisoners partner. 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Concentrix Cannot Even Investigate Properly!

Hey Prison Widow UK! Concentrix are a pile of crap! 
They claim to ''know'' I have a partner living with me - Urm he's been in prison for 5 years and this rubbish company work for HMRC LOL LOL! What is the country coming to using companies that cannot even investigate properly! From Lucy. 

Concentrix Tricks - By EFT Author

Concentrix; a company that works on behalf of HMRC; and accuses people of ''living'' with partners without proof. 
I have googled Concentrix and Concentrix aren't a popular bunch! 
Investigations are conducted by taking both statements/stories in to account. Concentrix appear to make assumptions and their assumptions are thrusting individuals in to hardship. 
HMRC need to be looking at giving Concentrix the boot. UK citizens are struggling living as it is without benefits being cut by this companies say so and assumptions! 
Fight back! If you have been affected by Concentrix; email us by clicking on the contact tab on the top of our blog. 
My name is EFT. I am a new author for Prison Widow UK. 

Concentrix Tax Credit Robbery

Hi PW. Please publish to make others aware of Concentrix!
My ex partner used my address simply as C/O. He was my ex for a reason namely because he is an heroin addict. We had no relationship for years but I supported him when he came out of prison after serving 7 years. 
Nothing connected us apart from him using my account for his wages. He worked so I was pleased this was his first job ever but saw nothing of his wage because he was in active addiction and still is! 
I received a letter off a company called Concentrix who work on behalf of tax credits. They have taken it upon themselves to stitch me up saying I should not have made a single claim and that me and my heroin addict ex should have made a joint claim!!!!! Are they for f******* real these robbers!!!!!
They claimed to have wrote to me in July but I received no letter off them and hey presto I am left with no tax credit money to support my daughter. 
Can this company assume someone guilty without even looking in to a persons circumstances? Cheeky hard faced bastards! Perhaps they are not trained on people supporting ex offenders and junkies? How does one have a ''relationship'' with someone who is a heroin addict? Thanks to Concentrix I have no money! 
From a furious hard working single Mum!