Funny isn't it how the UK system takes people to court and sends the bailiffs round because folk are in debt? Here's a scenario for you: There's a knock at my door. It's the court bailiffs. I'm in debt and they want to take my TV and other goods to auction them off. I'm then asked by the bailiffs whether or not I can afford to pay the debt off in installments, to which I answer, "no."
The bailiffs ponder a moment and I casually pipe up, " I've got an husband in prison." They answer, " Oh." To which I state, " The same court you work for all piss in the same post. The same Government you work for do exactly the same and inanely waffle on about how important it is for families to maintain ties with loved ones in prison. Oh, and guess what? The same deluded Government think that if families maintain ties with their loved ones in prison, they can help to reduce re-offending. So, Mr Bailiff, please do take my goods, because in order for me to support my husband in the British System, and to equally support my children who want to remain in touch with their dad, no doubt I will be seeing you again in the near future." This isn't something I've made up by the way. This is a common occurrence and we receive emails from prisoners families who are in this boat. Loved ones are taken away, and yes, they are indeed taken away for a reason. There's no disputing that. But lets have it right, who actually serves the real sentence? Because I will tell this to you straight. My husband doesn't have the worry of paying the rent and council tax. He also doesn't have the worry of where the next bit of money is coming from to put food on the table for the kids. Utility bills? Well he certainly doesn't have that worry either. Me? I have the worry of making sure my kids have as much contact with their dad as possible. But it costs money in order to do that. For any Governing body, charity, or organisation that represent prisoners families, to say that it is 'important' for us to maintain family ties is sometimes a bloody insult. How many of those 160,000 children affected by parental imprisonment in the UK, go without day trips in the summer school holidays, because their parents are paying for contact with their mum's and dad's in prison? If any organisation wants to run any statistics on anything, then run some on that. Give us the statistics on how much it costs families before they even enter the visits room. Maintaining family ties? At what cost?