Hi PFV. I have been a follower of your blog for quite some time now. I am a 19 year old Uni student and my Father is a lifer serving his sentence in the UK.
He was sent to prison when I was 10 years old and I cannot begin to tell you how my life was then.
I was bullied at school, lost all my pals, me and my Mother moved areas at least five times because of harassment from both the public and the press and all in all, I grew up a lonely lad.
If anyone knows what it is like growing up with a parent in prison and overcoming the obstacles that crime inflicts on children of prisoners it is me!
Of course we cannot forget the real victims of crime because they too serve a life sentence and I cannot even begin to imagine their pain. When I was 10 years old, I did not fully understand. All I knew was that my Father did something terribly wrong and that he went to prison. My family tried to protect me from the full story of what happened and looking back they did the right thing in my opinion.
As I said, I am 19 now and have changed my surname by deed pole to try and move on.
My Mother has since re-married and for once in her life is content and I am happy for her, she deserves the happiness after what she went through.
My opinion on the public who think that offenders families are cut from the same cloth is one of astonishment. I was spat at in the street at 10 years of age by grown adult women because of what my Father did. What innocent 10 year old deserves that? I wasn't asked to be born nor was I responsible for what my Father did.
My address was published in the newspaper when my Father was arrested and charged. Imagine how that made me and my Mother felt about that? There were of course consequences surrounding the press's decision to do just that because bricks and windows don't exactly make good combinations when used in temper and anger!
I still have my moments of depression not because my Father is in prison, but because of the flashbacks of what a 10 year old child shouldn't go through. I know what children of prisoners go through and trust me, absolutely more should be done to support them.
Please with hold my email address and name and please keep up with the excellent work you do to raise awareness.