Family Support(9 Posts)
I'm desperately looking for some advice please on behalf of myself and my parents.
My brother has just been sent to prison and is likely to be looking at a 10+ year sentence. It's absolutely devastated us all but my mum is taking it particularly hard (to be expected).
At the moment she is too embarrassed to speak to any family members or friends and basically just has me and my dad, but as we've never been through this either we are of little help.
What I think would be ideal is if she could meet up for a coffee with someone who's been through it, but all I can find online is phone support.
Has anyone got any experience in this and can point me in the right direction?
Hi dancing there's an amazing thread somewhere on here with tons of info. I'll try and find it to link, hang on
I work for the prison service if I can help? I work with offenders and can answer her questions about whats likely to happen with your brother and what she can/can't do to support him/provide him with.
@catiinbo0ts thank you, it's such a huge thread I hadn't the energy to look but I will have a read
@JustMumNowNotMe can you tell me how it works with phone calls and visits?
He's been arrested, had a first court date (where bail was denied) and is now awaiting his next court date.
I've sent him numerous emails and he's sent a letter back, but no phone calls yet and we've only had one visit (which his girlfriend went to).
When are they able to call? Is it restrictive or can they ring whenever/as much as they like?
Sorry @JustMumNowNotMe that sounds like I'm demanding answers from you! Any help would be really appreciated
Can you PM ne where he is? Only different types of prisons have different regimes.
As a remand prisoner he is eligible for more calls/visits than a convicted prisoner but yes there will be set times he can use the phone system- what these times are will depend on where he is.
If hes only recently arrived,the lack of calls will likely be down to lack of pin phone credit, emergency credit is given upon arrrival but ir doesn't last long so if you are able to send money (check if the prison likes cash or postal order) they can apply it to his account and he will be able to call. Likewise stamps, often establishments will allow stamped addressed envelopes to be sent in but check before you do.
With regards to visits, visitors have to be cleared before they visit which can take time, so bear with it. Of he's added you ro the visits list once its sorted he can send visiting orders (VO's) to you, and you can then call to arrange a visit. Visits are usually more frequent for a remanded prisoner also so he should be able to regularly see his girlfriend/family which will be good for his morale.
Is it his first time? If it is please be assured that the prison service very much look out for first timers, many prisoners have a "first night" unit where prisoners are located with peer mentors, more experienced prisoners with counselling skills to offer advice and support and answer and of his questions. He will also receive support from mental health services and the chaplaincy team for pastoral care. He won't just be left alone to get on with it.
If you would like to know anything else just give me a shout
I have been in your position but it was my DH rather than my brother/son. He is still in prison so if I can help in any way please PM me and I will answer any questions.
I will say that where I live they have groups for families of prisoners. I found it because I have small children and wanted to help them deal with our situation but they meet and you can talk to others in a similar situation. Again, if you let me know roughly where you are then I can see if it is anywhere near me and let you know what I found.
I totally understand the feelings of embarrassment and shame. Even though you have done nothing wrong you feel like everyone is judging you. However it does get easier and you do very quickly learn who your real friends are.
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