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The Effects of Going to Prison to a Family

Law 26

When a family member is sentenced to prison for a period of time, it can be a shattering experience, especially in the beginning. If the family member was imprisoned for violent acts or drug involvement, it may actually be a relief to have the member incarcerated, so that negative influences on the family are discontinued. In general however, according to EZ Bail Bonds, your source for Bail Bonds in Pearland TX, the effects of such a scenario are all negative in nature, and are keenly felt by close relatives.


Police arrest

This can be an extremely upsetting situation, depending on circumstances. If police arrest a family member at home, the whole neighborhood will know about it, and chances are it becomes fodder for the evening news, so the shame and mortification are spread. If there are children in the family, this can be a devastating scene often carried out in their presence and to their great distress.


Even if children did not witness the event, there remains the serious issue of what to tell them about it, especially in light of the fact that their peers will probably have heard about it through the media and the grapevine. Family members can be harassed by neighbors and schoolmates, especially if the nature of the crime was something universally reviled like a sex offense. This can go on indefinitely, and can be so bad that moving to a new location is considered.


Emotional loss

In the immediate aftermath of imprisonment, those left to cope on the outside are likely to experience a whole range of unpleasant emotions including shock, disbelief, anger, emptiness, and numbness that renders them unable to function normally in their daily routines. It is also likely that at some point they will feel sorry for themselves for having been thrust into a situation that makes family life very difficult, and is a situation they didn’t deserve to be put in.


It can be very hard to overcome these feelings, because there are usually constant reminders to re-open the wounds – visits to the imprisoned member, phone calls, letters, and even something as innocuous as an empty place at the dinner table all serve to renew the original emotional separation trauma.


Financial disarray

As often as not, the arrested family member was either the main breadwinner or major contributor to the family budget, and when that income is suddenly subtracted, financial chaos can immediately ensue. If the imprisoned member was a parent, the other spouse will either have to get a job quickly, or if already employed will have to find another source of income to replace the sudden decrease. Compounding the problem, it often happens that there is very little time to react to the changed financial circumstances, so the outside parent is forced to plunge into job-seeking with whatever skills he/she is already equipped with.


Endless waiting

Having a family member imprisoned creates a situation for those outside where there is endless waiting for the day of release, sometimes a day that is years in the future. This can give rise to extreme feelings of isolation and abandonment, as well as frustration for having to deal with a life made much more difficult. Usually at some point, family members reach a stage where they have at least come to grips with the altered circumstances, even if they do not accept them.


Even after all the days of seemingly interminable waiting, the eventual release of a family member may not have the anticipated impact on loved ones. Spouses that are separated by imprisonment for a long period of time may never regain the feelings they once had for each other, and life together again may simply not be feasible.


This article was contributed on behalf of EZ Bail Bonds. If you’re located in Brazoria, visit EZ Bail Bonds today!

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