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.