Now what


New Member
(I'm reposting this here)
This is new to me. I have been reading and reading...hopefully this is the right place to post.<br />Divorced mama of 3. Very abusive relationship. Kiddos saw and heard alot. Even after the divorce (with 2nd wife) Which is why we are where we're at. Their dad is incarcerated again. He sends them letters which I read. I find the content of these letters to be just more head games. He is telling the kids he'll see them soon if mom let's them go visit (oldest is an adult). I did let them go visit when his family would go the 1st time he was in...only after the kids came to me and said they wanted to go see him..of course they missed dad, i know this.<br /> I'm not letting them this time. He wrote me and said i shouldn't punish the kids because he messed up. the way i see it is he's the one who keeps punishing them. In and out of their lives for the last 5 years. always on their toes because they don't know what to expect. Kiddo #2 has said (before he was even locked up again)they won't go visit him if this happens again. <br />Kiddo #3 has asked when they can see dad again. <br />I want the emotional, psychological roller coaster to end for them. It rips me apart watching them go through the hurt. <br />There is alot more to our story. But this is kind of the jist of it. Am i wrong not letting them go visit? Correctional facilities is not where i want my kids. My mama bear is out and in full roar.<br /><br />Sent from my SCH-R970 using Tapatalk

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Well-Known Member
I dont have much advice to give you on this as I have no experience but there will be others who can. What I will tell you as a someone who has worked in Corrections for 23 years is that it's VERY common for family members to not bring children, especially younger ones, in to visit offenders. Even the visiting room has the look and feel of a prison in most places. You are in there with dozens of other families, some of which who are only not incarcerated because they havent been caught yet. If he truly wishes to stay connected with his children he should check into a few things.

I dont know where you are from so have no idea what programs he has available so I will speak to what I know from where I work. First, he needs to take a parenting class. We offer a class called Inside Out Dad's which tries to teach them not only to be a better father in general, but how to remain a father figure while incarcerated.

Another thing we do is called Story Link. Offenders are recorded while reading a story book to their children and then a copy of the disk and the book is sent to the child so they can hear dad reading the story while they read along. These are HIGHLY monitored to keep offenders from sending any kind of messages other than reading the story. We catch this all the time and its also used as a carrot as they have to meet certain criteria to be able to do this such as no Conduct Violations/Good Behavior for a certain amount of time.

Another excellent program we offer is called ICVC or Impact of Crime on Victims Class. This class focuses on how the offenders actions affect those around them, not just those who were directly affected by their crime. It emphasizes the fact that there is no such thing as a victimless crime because crime affects so much. This includes the need for more police officers to patrol certain areas which puts a strain on budgets, the need for victim counseling because being victimized can affect your family and work lives, and the fact that jails and prisons are flipping expensive! But its primary goal is to hopefully make the offender see that their crime drastically affects their families. An offender who is single still affects the lives of their parents and siblings. Throw in marriage, and now you are causing serious emotional problems for the children not to mention the strain that the loss of income (assuming that there was one) can have on the family.

There are many other programs nation wide that I'm not aware of. I do know that several states have started creating "family friendly" visiting rooms where offenders can visit with their families (specifically when there are children) in a room that is more like a living room and much less like a prison.

Oh, and since SWOT didnt mention it, you might want to put a signature at the bottom giving basic details. Mine isnt a good example but Lil is my wife and her sig covers it.


Well-Known Member
If it were me I'd find another way for the kids to stay in touch if they wanted to. I would not take children under 13 to jail and would let children 13-18 decide if they wanted to visit before I went.

You aren't punishing t he kids not to take them to see their father in jail. He shouldn't be in jail. That's on him. It is on him too if they don't want to see him in that environment. If he loved his kids so much, he could have chosen a different type of life and they would love him and be able to see him all the time. He is not a hero who deserves to see his kids, even if they don't want to go. I would leave it 100% up to the kids and if one doesn't want to go and one does, I'd do that and nothing else.

Depending on the age of the kids, I may not even read the entire content of his letters to them. I'd save them for when they were at least 13 if there is a lot of nonsense, fake promises, lies or bad language involved.

You have to think about yourself and your needs too. Do you want to take them to visit him? Yes, you matter here.


Roll With It
I doubt that I would let my kids go. Maybe older teens, but it would depend on the teen and their relationship with their father. Just visiting a prison has been proven to increase the odds that a child will be incarcerated at some point as an adult, or at least I have seen several studies that show this. If I can find them I will post a link to them, but it has been several years since I saw them.

I would certainly go with my children for the visit, and I would make SURE that they know that if he tries to get them to bring anything to him, that they NEED to tell me. I would insist on going so that I would be sure that he would not ask them to smuggle anything in to him, and so I would know if they were attempting to smuggle anything to him. With the head games, I would worry about that a lot.