Dear Alison Henderson FRSA and Prison Widow UK.
I would like to be given the opportunity to share my story. Please can I request that you change my real identity as this is a personal matter. Thank you in advance.
I read your blog every day just to make myself feel better for want of a word. I am aware that; that may sound an awful comment to make; but at least I know that I am certainly not alone.
My daughter is 14 years of age and her father is currently serving a prison sentence in the UK.
He has been in and out of prison for most of life due to heroin addiction and crimes committed to feed his addiction. We are no longer in a relationship; but we stay in touch from time to time.
When he goes to prison; this is when me and our daughter generally hear more from him through mail correspondence.
Our daughter; however; does not acknowledge his letters. Not because I have turned her against him; but because she is ashamed of him. I completely understand and no matter how many times we have sat down together and spoken about her father; and; for me; trying to explain about his addiction; she will not change her opinion of him. Perhaps when she is older; she might; but at this moment in time; she does not wish to make contact at all.
My question is; the Government are pushing the ''it is important for prisoners families to maintain contact throughout imprisonment''. I understand that this is sensible and I understand that in some cases; regular contact does reduce re-offending; but I beg to differ when it concerns certain issues such as drug addiction.
I literally gave up my life at one point to help and support my daughters father; but the harsh truth was; he did not want to address his drug problem. No offence to the prison service; but after he detoxed in prison; it wasn't long until he was using again because the prison he was staying at was awash with drugs. Personally for me; no amount of maintaining ties can reduce re-offending when a person is addicted to drugs and does not wish to address their problem.
I would be interested in other people's views?
(Names have been changed)