Surviving Incarceration and Release:
It is not just the prisoner who suffers from the sentence imposed. The whole family (immediate and extended) are impacted by shock waves of rejection, suspicion and intrusion on personal privacy. The family serves its sentence in the community, while the offender is serving prison time.
Children are particularly impacted by issues of abandonment, loyalty, love, grief, shame and a pervasive lack of understanding.
Families and children have no legal standing in the courtroom.
Few resources are available to guide the family through the justice experience. Less resources are available to help the family remain intact and to prepare for the post-prison transition process.
Relational Victimization Theory provides an overview of the impact of crime on primary victims, secondary victims and tertiary or community members.
Shame never heals, but instead rips at the fabric holding the family together.
Silence is not an indication of healing. Suffering impacts everyone.
Healing is not a passive process, but requires a gentle knowing touch.