Young Children Do Not Understand Prison - By Laura


Hi Prisoners Families Voices. I always read the new posts that are posted on Facebook and Twitter and would like to voice my opinion on one that was posted today about children and prison visits. ( above link )
My partner has been in prison for 15 months and I have a teenage daughter and a daughter of 4 years old.
My teenage daughter has sadly lost all interest in visiting her dad because she says it's boring. I cannot force her to visit but it upsets her dad and I have had to tell him the truth. She talks to him on the phone though.
My young daughter cries all the time and asks why her dad cannot come home. When we visit she is very clingy and sits on her dads knee. She gets distracted by other children running around and joins in. I used to stop her running around but she made a big fuss by crying which stressed us all out on the visits. I 100% agree that prison visits are not constructive yet prisoners families are encouraged to visit to maintain these so called family bonds. That's all OK if you have children that accept the situation. Many children cannot accept the situation because they don't understand why their mum or dad is in prison. I also agree that it is very stressful prison visiting with a young child who is confused. Can I also say that some of the prison officers don't help the situation either. I say 'some' because some of them are not compassionate towards children let alone adults. I know prison's aren't places to fun in, but young children don't understand this and they don't know what prison stands for. I have had the opportunity to go on a few family days which have been really good, but once it goes back to normal bog standard visits, my daughter asks if she can go on a 'nice visit' meaning the family day ones. So whilst I think these family days are all well and good, think about what it does to a young child who finds this whole HMP rollercoaster ride a tangled ball of confusion? It just makes me angry!