Hi, I am an ex offender and I follow your blog.
I have read some interesting posts about prisoners Families and their alleged role to reduce reoffending. Pardon my french, but it is b*****ks! If it worked then surely the prisons wouldn't have overcrowding issues? And what about those repeat offenders who have strong family units who visit them week in and week out, year after year? Yes indeed there is a minority that don't go back to prison and that is down to perhaps a family member or probation officer etc, but I will tell you straight, if I went back to jail tomorrow, I'd bump in to the same faces. When I was serving a 7 year stretch, I saw people coming in to prison, getting released and coming back. Most of those were drug addicts and those who were homeless.
I have been clean for 4 years. I used heroin and crack cocaine. I didn't have family support because they kicked my backside to the curb after I put them through hell and back. I decided and I alone decided that I'd done with drugs. This year for the first time in 15 years, I will be having Xmas dinner with my family. It's been 4 years since I used drugs and now I have proven my worth to my family, they have accepted me back in to their lifes and whole heartedly support me. Families simply cannot support a loved one who is actively using drugs. Strict boundaries have to be put in to place otherwise you become enablers enabling your loved one to use drugs by giving them money to buy them. My Mum used to give me money because she said she'd rather have a piece of mind that I wasn't going out stealing. She was my enabler and as long as she kept on giving me money, I'd take it with no remorse. Addiction is the pits but when you are actively using, you don't give two f**ks about who you hurt or whose lifes you are destroying. Mine being my families at the time.
I don't think there is enough information for families who have a loved one in prison with an addiction, or families who have a loved one with an addiction period! To say that families can reduce reoffending is scandalous. Read up on the effects and lifestyle of an heroin addict/crack/spice/meth and perscription pills. Read about how people with addictions live because no one can pull you through your rock bottom but yourself. My brain has altered forever and I will always be a addict. Every day I am in recovery and will be until the day I die.
Best wishes to all from Jason.