I'm rather interested that Prisoners Families Voices are receiving emails from people who are struggling with release from prison and feeling that they are shunned because their loved-one is back home. I was once verbally attacked by a couple of women online saying that I shouldn't be running a blog site because my partner is now out of prison. My answer was "bollocks", because there are hundreds of people working for prisoners families charities and organisations who have NEVER had a loved one in prison so I rest my case.
Needless to say, the nasty emails stopped and I put it down to immature prisoners wife's with obvious issues.
I feel quite angry reading the emails coming in from wife's and partners who are really up against it and struggling with their relationships on the out. Maintaining family ties, visits, family days, letter writing, telephone calls, support groups, support workers, this, that and the other are all beneficial for prisoners families, I wouldn't say otherwise. But what happens when all these lovely prison family days and the rest of it stops? I've been there on several occasions and worn the t-shirt, you drive to the prison and pick your partner/husband/wife up along with their prison holdall's and the support from there on comes to an halt. And I will put up a good argument with anyone who tells me otherwise. No one wants to know when someone is released from prison. Maybe Prisoners Families Voices should set up 'something else' to support people upon release, we have enough readers and emails coming in to do it. Maybe the people who email us should start something up? I could certainly help and plug a site for them, but sadly I do not have the time to do this myself. I agree with Linda in particular that the media are only interested in writing stories about 'Jane' who's husband is in prison for life, or 'Bob' who's wife is in prison for a drugs related crime, and how do they cope etc etc etc. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, all awareness raising is good, but the struggle does not stop when they are released from prison. For some, their relationship ends and children of prisoners go through the separation process all over again. So the question is, who is going to take this issue on?