Hi. I would like to share my experience of being a prisoners partner. I stood by my man for five long years whilst he served a big stretch inside. Most of my family thought I was nuts, but it was my choice. We maintained our relationship, if that's what you can call it, to the best of our ability although him being shipped out to different prison's once in a while didn't help. Somehow, partners of prisoners get through it. We get used to being treated like crap by the prison service and the many who frown upon us because we are involved with a convict. As time went by, the prison visits became easier and the know-all of prison life gets understood. Prisoners families get to know all about what's happening inside and they aren't even locked up! Prison life becomes part of your life if you are a family member of a prisoner. But what people don't prepare families for is release from prison. Probation and prison staff 'try' to prepare the prisoner for release, but they don't prepare the family members. Basically, family members get their loved ones back home and some of them, like myself, haven't a bloody clue how to cope because your loved one has been institionalised. My partner was released from prison last year. We are on the brink of separating because after a 14 year relationship, it appears now that we don't know each other. My question is, why don't probation or other services prepare the families of prisoners? I would be grateful for any comments from your other readers please.