Dear Prison Widow UK. Hi. I am writing in response to Carol's post about prisoners families maintaining ties. I have a son who is 22 and he refuses to have any contact with his dad. If I can explain; I will tell you why. His dad first went to prison when our son was 7 years old. He was addicted to heroin and crack. Whenever he went to prison; he sorted himself out; and he and our son maintained ties through visiting; letters and phone calls. That said; when he was released from prison; he went straight back to his old ways and started on the drugs again; which then led to another prison sentence and so on. He was in and out of our sons life like a yo-yo and it is all well and good for any one to quote; ''maintaining family ties reduces re-offending'' but it is not that straight forward at all.
The prisons are indeed awash with drugs; even more so now I believe; so how do and can families make an impact on their loved ones choices when addiction is in the forefront of our loved ones minds? When my sons dad was in prison; he wrote hundreds of letters to our boy promising the world; promising he would change; promising he wouldn't go back to prison again; and every time; he led our son down until one day; our son just walked away and cut ties.
I will be frank with you; I couldn't care less what the professionals harp on about and how they 'think' what we should do; the fact remains that when someone has an addiction; and goes to prison; you can visit 7 days a week and unless that person in prison wants to change and wants to address their addiction; then reducing re-offending; and saying families are able to do this; is quite frankly a load of crap. I get quite angry when I hear quotes being thrown out about how families can help. Like Carol said; there is no doubt that some families do make a difference but the real situation is; a person who wants to change their life around must want to change their life around.