View Full Version : Psychological effects of prison, do you think about it?


Wobabi
08-01-2009, 12:00 PM
“The Psychological Impact of Incarceration:,,,,,,”

“The adaptation to imprisonment is almost always difficult and, at times, creates habits of thinking and acting that can be dysfunctional in periods of post-prison adjustment. Yet, the psychological effects of incarceration vary from individual to individual and are often reversible. To be sure, then, not everyone who is incarcerated is disabled or psychologically harmed by it. But few people are completely unchanged or unscathed by the experience.”
See link for entire article

http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/Haney.htm - II (http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/Haney.htm#II)


Now that this ride is closer to being over I have been thinking a lot more about the last 14 years of confinement my dude has been through. And though he swears he is not instiutionalized (Because according to him he always walked counter clock wise in prison:rolleyes:), I just know there is need to get better educated on the effects to keep my EYES WIDE OPEN.
The one thing that stuck out for me in this paper, was the suggestion on psychological resources (Professional Counseling)-treat this just like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
In my mind I have to always preface it with the caveat LONG TERM attention.

What are your thoughts about the Psychological effects Prison has had/is having on your loved one?

PTO-110524
08-01-2009, 12:11 PM
Yet, the psychological effects of incarceration vary from individual to individual and are often reversible.

Hubby did just over 7 straight last bid and he had some "behaviors" that were directly related to the bid length; simple decisions were more difficult, hard to make choices where many were offered (like on a restaurant menu), he was very sketchy in large crowds, he won't sit anywhere but with his back to the wall, etc.

Within about 6 months he'd adapted to the streets again though.

I saw no psychological issues though. He was pretty normal and still is - been in since 2003 this time and he's mentally fine, though I'm sure if he were to get out he'd be sketchy for a minute until he got used to freedom again.

Wobabi
08-01-2009, 12:21 PM
Lifer,,,the only thought I would have is that if you read this article , there is a section about maintaining intergration.
There are other articles that I will link that there ARE SUBTLE effects and the TRAP of recividcism LINKS.
Boo will be on paper as well so staying out for him would be dealing with the sublties of his past incarceration.
No doubt it can be reversible BUT Reversing this trend has to be LONG TERM attention.
6 months does not seem to be a lot of time considering how long he was locked up,,,,

t'slovingwife
08-01-2009, 01:00 PM
Great post--so many go back in because of the differences living on the other side of the bars. If you are in Walmart and someone bumps you with a cart--it's not a sign of disrespect, it could be a mom or elderly person just not paying attention. I definitely try to talk to T about all types of scenarios so he can be a little prepared. PTSD certainly makes sense. Hard to know what to expect--I think keeping that strong communication makes a big difference too. Thanks for sharing.

dwfighterva
08-01-2009, 01:02 PM
It all depends on how long he is in as to how he acclimates to being out. It also depends on his personality. I would say the main things to expect is the jumpiness when he hears a noise or wakes up suddenly from a sleep. He will want to know where his things are at all times so don't move things important to him. There is a lot of technology like computers and cell phones if he has been in for 10 years or more that he has no idea how they work and why.

The world is tough out here no matter who you are, but they are the target of the new discrimination. Employers have boxes for felonies and do background checks. Leases in apartment won't let them live there. We live in a disposable society and don't believe in second chances. We recycle bottles and newspapers but not people.

only1love
08-01-2009, 01:42 PM
I think and worry about this ALL the time. It was back when the first lawyer was telling me that in time, he would "settle in" and begin to acclimate. Well that never happened. He for a multitude of reasons never settled in and found it impossible to acclimate to SHU. Every letter talks about the horrid conditions of being confined to such a tiny space.
Top it off with the fact that he is old school as far as counseling goes. Only "weak" people go, so he won't go, and he will never recover, and I have accepted this, but will he? He thinks he is going to eventually walk out of there and go back to business as usual!
He has no concept of the economy, the difficulty he will have finding a new client base. He thinks his former clients are "waiting" for him! Maybe a few but not all or even most.
He is used to being self-employed. Has not worked for anyone since the days of flipping burgers as a kid. He is used to making a very good wage. He does not have a resume! No idea how to make one and so far the 2 drafts I sent to him, he finds to be rediculous!
I can talk to him till my lips turn blue, but he is no kid, and it won't work. Few months ago, I told him I was going to give him my Blackberry and upgrade to one with more medical functions. He had no idea what a blackberry was! No clue how to send e-mail. They have it where he is, but he does not know how to use it.

I can and will show him, and coming from me, he will listen, but I can't help him with the changes in society, or the mental changes within him from this experience!

I fear for him. He is clueless and will have a very hard time. He will be one of those people that even if he were humble enough to ask questions, he won't know what to even ask.

akaptrosa
08-01-2009, 01:48 PM
What are your thoughts about the Psychological effects Prison has had/is having on your loved one?

Well, I think that people usually come out of prison in one of two ways. 1. They want to have someone telling them what to do/controlling them, because that is what they are used to (maybe because of depression) or 2. They do not want to be controlled at all and therefor have issues with people offering guidance or suggestions, because they feel they are trying to control them.

I believe most fall under description number 2. I believe people who have not been incarcerated can handle being "told" things better. Here is the only example I can think of. If my man comes home and is cooking in my new non stick pan and using a fork. Most, likely my reaction would be, "Hey, quit using that fork in my new pan. You are going to scratch it all up.!" BUT he may view that as controlling. I think they are A LOT more sensitive to how people say things. So, I will be sure to make it a suggestion "Babe, could you please use the plastic flipper over there to cook? Thanks, that way the pan won't get scratched up." That way it "appears" that I am asking him (giving him some control), instead of ordering him to do something.

I think most prison relationships fail when the man comes home, because of control issues. We, as women, have become set in our ways the years that they have been gone. It is difficult sometimes when he comes home and you've been mowing the grass in a diagonal pattern for the last 10 years and he mows it different. When you have always put the t.p. roll to go over and he does it under. Small things I know, but it does add up. And of course we always think our way is RIGHT. I mean we have been out here doing this for years now. lol. Change is difficult most of the time. (for me anyway) This may sound bad, forgive me for this, but in some ways we need to approach our man like we would our teenage son. He is going to have to learn new things (The world changes everyday, and if he's been locked up for years.) He doesn't want to be embarrassed or belittled. He may have to do things that he hasn't done in years or has never done. We need to be encouraging and give suggestions and help with respect and love. Yes, he is a man, but in all honesty, he may come out with some of the social abilities and skills of a teenage boy.

I really liked the part in the article about keeping them connected with the outside world. I see the importance of that. I am going to begin to send lots more pics of things in the world and start taking pictures of events I go to. I see where an outside connection helps them not lose touch with reality. Thanks for the article. I wish you the best upon your man arriving home.

Best wishes to all!

hopeful64
08-01-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks Wo for this thread. Being a human service worker, I see the effects and affects of our persons coming home. I have just starting breaking the ice with boo since our time is short as well. After 18 years being in at this time, the consistency has not taken his mind but the level of restrait (sp)? has taken its toll. I know his patterns are going to need changing. Will read the article later. I know it has some information I will use. EYES WIDE OPEN yeah:thumbsup:

ant's wife
08-01-2009, 02:03 PM
What are your thoughts about the Psychological effects Prison has had/is having on your loved one?
I think everyone is effected in different ways, and I think knowing some of the signs of the problems is a great idea because you will know if they need help or not. I also think some of the problem lays in the halfway houses don't know about in other states but in Pa most of the halfway houses they are still in some sort of cell and they are not allowed outside except for yard time so how is that helping them readjust to the outside.

Wobabi
08-01-2009, 03:52 PM
“The term "institutionalization" is used to describe the process by which inmates are shaped and transformed by the institutional environments in which they live. Sometimes called "prisonization" when it occurs in correctional settings, it is the shorthand expression for the negative psychological effects of imprisonment.(8) The process has been studied extensively by sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others, and involves a unique set of psychological adaptations that often occur — in varying degrees — in response to the extraordinary demands of prison life. In general terms, the process of prisonization involves the incorporation of the norms of prison life into one's habits of thinking, feeling, and acting.”


“,,,,,,,,,, However, in the course of becoming institutionalized, a transformation begins. Persons gradually become more accustomed to the restrictions that institutional life imposes. The various psychological mechanisms that must be employed to adjust (and, in some harsh and dangerous correctional environments, to survive) become increasingly "natural," second nature, and, to a degree, internalized. To be sure, the process of institutionalization can be subtle and difficult to discern as it occurs. Thus, prisoners do not "choose" do succumb to it or not, and few people who have become institutionalized are aware that it has happened to them.”




See link for entire article

http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/Haney.htm - II (http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/Haney.htm)



The bolded parts are where concerns lie,,,,this “Prisonization” can be SUBTLE and the person can very well DENY that prison effected/s them at all.
Will they even go as far as to convince us on the outside they are OK and we go for it because of their word? And are we really recognizing the subtle effects or just ignoring it, hoping it will go away, or that it never existed in the first place?
When we see our men being overly suspicious or putting on a “prison mask” when you see them interacting with other inmates on a visit,,that behavior is signs of the change.

jonivea
08-01-2009, 04:10 PM
Sis, I only read a few of the paragraphs, but grasped alot from it that has already been presented to me by hubby... I just spoke with you, so you know what i'm fighting with at the present time and I thank you for those words of encouragement. The system does do alot to them and change them from all different angles, but I AM learning that it takes a strong and real TRUE loving individual to help and guide them back to an UN-institutionalized healthy and happy man...Those vows did say through THICK and thin....

ahannah1561
08-01-2009, 05:14 PM
i so needed this today!! he will be home next week and i am conserned for him, us, our daughter.... he knows that prison has effected him... we are ready (i guess) to deal with all this... this paper will help...thank you! i am off to read it now, i also printed it off so he can read it 2!

PTO-110524
08-01-2009, 05:18 PM
There is a lot of technology like computers and cell phones if he has been in for 10 years or more that he has no idea how they work and why.


Hubby is CONSTANTLY asking me about the newest cell phones (he's only been in since 2003, so he knows ALL about cellphones). He's fascinated with the idea of web browsing on your phone, etc.

The other thing he's always talking about are the new car models, gas prices, how much is the utility bill now, etc. So he keeps his head outside the walls whenever he can.

Babi - as I said he was only in for 7 years the last time and that wasn't his first bid. So there was nothing major and he acclimated well within 6 months or so. Now, he's a lifer this time so I'm sure I'll see some changes when he hits maybe 10 years in or so. Sure he has the normal stuff now of keeping his back to the wall, noticing EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the VR, the increasing lack of patience as he forgets more and more what "real life" entails (meaning if he asks me for something he tends to get impatient a couple days later until I remind him I don't sit and wait for his needs and then trip over myself to get them done).

So yeah - I tend to think it depends on a few factors; age at time of incarceration, education level, length of bid, basic personality, etc.

Most def though - long term incarceration does leave a mark on our loved ones.

Good thread! :thumbsup:

J&D7
08-01-2009, 09:38 PM
I think it is also dependant upon whether or not they had to deal with an addiction when they went in. Because once they are out, they have to fight that additional demon as well as try and re-adjsut into society - double the pressure.

I'm just curious, how long does it take (roughly) for someone to become institutionalised? 12 months? 5 years+? Is there any info on this?

Wobabi
08-01-2009, 10:04 PM
I think it is also dependant upon whether or not they had to deal with an addiction when they went in. Because once they are out, they have to fight that additional demon as well as try and re-adjsut into society - double the pressure.

I'm just curious, how long does it take (roughly) for someone to become institutionalised? 12 months? 5 years+? Is there any info on this?

J&D from what I am gathering from this paper there is no time frame,,it’s the experience itself. What ever amount of time that is spent living in an institution is how I read it.
But I will be interested to see if we can find out from other sources.

Fancy
08-01-2009, 10:07 PM
Most former inmates will appear normal within a few months...

However, do not let this fool you, they may still be institutionalized...

Remember, they went to prison likely from having some problems already, and they certainly do not get better while in prison..prison do little to rehab, they are mainly warehouses.

Not just talking about addictions, I AM TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT CAUSED THEM TO TURN TO ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR...alcohol and drugs are just a cover up for other issues....coping issues....

With my hubby, being in prison with no street/family life experience has left him child like in a lot of ways.....he knows how to cope in prison life but not with street life...hence, the no coping skills, which makes it highly likely to wanna cover up these feelings with self medication.

Vicious circle, hugh???

cornered
08-02-2009, 04:39 AM
From my experience, the whole thing is psychologically damaging. I used to be fairly nice. I used to be open and trusting. Now, being an asshole is my routine. I trust no one. I used to walk way from fights. Now, I don't walk INTO them, but I refuse to walk away. Wanna fight? Let's rock.

I used to care about my future. Now, I can't say I really give a damn anymore.

Bishopsgirl
08-02-2009, 04:39 AM
This post has really opened my eyes a lot to what he may go through when he comes home which is about to happen. He went in very young and I have worried that that will affect him moreso then someone that went in much later in life. Thanks for the post though now I have things to look for and can be of better help to him.

BlueEyedEllie
08-02-2009, 06:06 AM
Most former inmates will appear normal within a few months...

However, do not let this fool you, they may still be institutionalized...

Remember, they went to prison likely from having some problems already, and they certainly do not get better while in prison..prison do little to rehab, they are mainly warehouses.

Not just talking about addictions, I AM TALKING ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT CAUSED THEM TO TURN TO ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR...alcohol and drugs are just a cover up for other issues....coping issues....

With my hubby, being in prison with no street/family life experience has left him child like in a lot of ways.....he knows how to cope in prison life but not with street life...hence, the no coping skills, which makes it highly likely to wanna cover up these feelings with self medication.

Vicious circle, hugh???
very very true and sad.....

nutty7688
08-02-2009, 06:53 AM
Thanks Wobabi for this thread, I had a dream the other night that he came home and was a very different person then the one that I knew, and it was scarry. Often times some of us only want our partners home and forget how acclimated to a certain environment that they the inmate may have become. It is like moving to a different Country and doing things like the natives of that Country, and on the outside it hard. Dealing with those effects really starts with us their supporters, by educating ourselves on the Psychological effects that prisons can impose on our loved ones.

Even though he is not due for parole for another 7 years, and has been down for 9, I am preparing myself now for the uneventful homecoming.

Wobabi
08-02-2009, 11:12 AM
From my experience, the whole thing is psychologically damaging. I used to be fairly nice. I used to be open and trusting. Now, being an asshole is my routine. I trust no one. I used to walk way from fights. Now, I don't walk INTO them, but I refuse to walk away. Wanna fight? Let's rock.

I used to care about my future. Now, I can't say I really give a damn anymore.
Cornered you make a good point,,I have seen the effects of just going thru trial or plea deals and the whole wait before incarceration break peoples soul.
Heck I went thru chicago housing court and nearly lost my mind!

cornered
08-02-2009, 10:30 PM
Thank you Wobabi. I look at my case, and I try so hard to put it behind me, but it's almost impossible.

Put a woman through the same scenario I was in, and nothing would happen. OTOH, treat a woman the way I was, charged the way I was, prosecuted like I was, and there would be a Civil War right now, women going nuts over it.

Sorry, I start ranting over it.....

MrsCetina
08-03-2009, 02:03 AM
He is a short-timer and Im still worried that he has become institutionalized. Today he told me that he will probably have to sleep on the floor when he comes home because hes so used to hard surfaces. :(

fallensoldier
08-05-2009, 12:37 PM
I am alot more reserved these days. When I came home, several of my old friends said that there was something different in my gaze...like I was hardened. Still, most people described me as "wiser" post-prison. I was very lighthearted prior to being in, but I see very little of that side these days. Even ten years after prison.

Wobabi
08-05-2009, 06:00 PM
I am alot more reserved these days. When I came home, several of my old friends said that there was something different in my gaze...like I was hardened. Still, most people described me as "wiser" post-prison. I was very lighthearted prior to being in, but I see very little of that side these days. Even ten years after prison.
Wow ten years out,,,,wonderful. Your post on this is well appreciated:thumbsup:

rockstara
08-06-2009, 09:32 AM
Wow....Wo thanks for this post...I clicked on the link and read it and I must say that it gave me a whole lot more to think about...thanks so much for posting this! Very informative!:thumbsup:

Fancy
08-06-2009, 09:42 AM
He is a short-timer and Im still worried that he has become institutionalized. Today he told me that he will probably have to sleep on the floor when he comes home because hes so used to hard surfaces. :(

My hubby has said this before too. He can quite easily sleep on the floor...but, he did sleep on the bed. If it was up to him, after years in prison, he would just as easily choose the floor.

MzBlaque
08-06-2009, 10:15 AM
Hello...let me add my two cents. My honey was gone the first tme for about 8 years. So alot had changed. He had moved from this area long before he was sentenced so therefore he had l no clue to wha went on here except that it was his hometown. When he first came home~there were a lot of diasppointments for him~to include loss of loved ones. We always had the type of relationship that we could talk. I didn't try to push any issues, I allowed him to have his 'breakdowns, breakthroughs, tantrums and venting moments' as he choosed. I was his friend. I do remember one day as we were riding and he was looking around and he saw me looking at him strangely..lol! But I didn't mean to. So he told me that he has to refamiliarize himself with so much and bare with him. So I grabbed his hand and reassured him that it was going to be ok. There were times when I wasn't the #1 lady, so I had to ask myself----is ANYONE thinking about what he may need. So that's what I was the friend when he wanted to talk, laugh, cry, had questions, needed things and the one that never judged him~that keep me as close to him as needed. Now that I am the #1 lady, there is so much I am see that I did, because he tells me all the time how I helped him with this or that. I am saying all this to say that you need to gradally reaquaint him with the 'world' as they say. there will be times when you will have to be strict as needed. I wasn't, and I am alone again for 13 plus months. But lessoned learned~things will only go as far as one let it. I love him with all my heart and will do everything possible to make sure he is ok and comes homes and succeeds this time.....I know he has to want to succeed, but I let him do it his way the first time.....................lol But Good Luck to all!

moms waiting
08-14-2009, 10:09 AM
wobabi, great thread! Thank you.
My son will be out soon after 7 years. He was nineteen when he was arrested, soon to be twenty-seven.
This has been weighing heavy on my mind and I wonder sometimes if it will be harder on him since he was so young. I'm worried. I printed out the reading from the website you attached and hopefully will learn some awareness and hopefully pointers.
Laurie

krainium
08-15-2009, 08:34 AM
This is a good question and I don't really know how to answer it.......I would hope he is able to bounce back within a short period of time but you never know until they come home. I think the length of time served and possibly the age of the person when they went in could have a little to do with their ability to cope also. My husband is in his 40's and just went in a couple years ago, he's lived many years outside the walls.....a man who was incarcerated in his early 20's who's done maybe 15 years may have 'more layers to peel' once coming home. I think for anyone removed from society, there's probably some sort of issue that they have to deal with when they come home.

yaya'sbaby
08-15-2009, 01:03 PM
I think about the psychological effects all the time. Although honey swears that he is fine and that he wont need counseling cause he will snap back into society like a rubber band. I know all to well that he will have some huge effects from his incarceration.

I think we as humans can adapt to things and any change will most likely effect us. I mean for example look at myself...I have worked every day for years now. Same shift and all. When im off or on vacation...my mind and body start working in the morning the same time it normaly wakes up on a work day. It takes me days to try and condition my body to lay sleep a little later.

That is my example of me just working. I pretty much do the same thing everyday and have a "routine".When im thrown off my "routine"....I get agitated and irritated and often have to "talk" myself into merging a little off the routine. So how can i not expect my honey to not me effected by incareceration ya know.

Honey swears that he is "free" in his mind....The prison just has his body (rolling eyes), so he wont have any problems adjusting once he is free.....(me sighing).

yaya'sbaby
08-15-2009, 01:11 PM
[quote=akaptrosa;4837277]
I believe most fall under description number 2. I believe people who have not been incarcerated can handle being "told" things better. Here is the only example I can think of. If my man comes home and is cooking in my new non stick pan and using a fork. Most, likely my reaction would be, "Hey, quit using that fork in my new pan. You are going to scratch it all up.!" BUT he may view that as controlling. I think they are A LOT more sensitive to how people say things. So, I will be sure to make it a suggestion "Babe, could you please use the plastic flipper over there to cook? Thanks, that way the pan won't get scratched up." That way it "appears" that I am asking him (giving him some control), instead of ordering him to do something.

I think most prison relationships fail when the man comes home, because of control issues. We, as women, have become set in our ways the years that they have been gone. It is difficult sometimes when he comes home and you've been mowing the grass in a diagonal pattern for the last 10 years and he mows it different. When you have always put the t.p. roll to go over and he does it under. Small things I know, but it does add up. And of course we always think our way is RIGHT. I mean we have been out here doing this for years now. lol. Change is difficult most of the time. (for me anyway) This may sound bad, forgive me for this, but in some ways we need to approach our man like we would our teenage son. He is going to have to learn new things (The world changes everyday, and if he's been locked up for years.) He doesn't want to be embarrassed or belittled. He may have to do things that he hasn't done in years or has never done. We need to be encouraging and give suggestions and help with respect and love. Yes, he is a man, but in all honesty, he may come out with some of the social abilities and skills of a teenage boy.

quote]

I just cringed when I read the pan part......If I walked in and seen honey scratching up my $300 pot and pan set....I might faint:faint:. LOL..great example.

As far as the second paragraph-You are right about what u wrote. I am so set in how i like things in my house. It drives me nuts when anyone comes into to my house and disturbs my things cause I control my house. I think it will take lots of patience and prayers for me to be able to cope with his homecoming also:o.

jeswannabhiswyf
08-15-2009, 01:23 PM
Good topic. I see the neg and pos affect on my husband(aug 14, 2009:D). The neg affects are not so far gone that they can't be worked thru though. Praise God for that. I wouldn't be me if i didn't try to find the bright side of things. We can both appreciate the fact that prison has made him a man.

tilforever08
08-16-2009, 07:48 PM
wow- thanks for the article! :thumbsup:
i do have to say, i see my husband in some of these paragraphs..
he had a hard time adjusting to home, and he's now back in prison
it just goes to show what they ARENT doing for our guys.
no wonder why the re-entry rate for prisoners is so high. :angry:

Lugnut88
08-20-2009, 01:16 PM
This is interesting to me because my BF has been in for 20 years and when I asked him if he keeps his back to the wall, he just laughed and said, "Of course not!" Only guys in gangs, or guys who have been in trouble do that!"
he said he has a group of friends he has served with in 2 prisons now (each time one transfers, they all do) and he knows if anyone tried to mess w/him, those guys would fight to the death to protect him, as he would them.
he has no fear at all of being attacked, other than the gang memebers who get out of control, but after 20 years, he's very good at talking his way into or out of anything, lol. He does not feel the need to have his back against the wall at all. I've asked him even in the shower or on the phone w/me and he only laughs and says "noooooo, not at all." He would LOVE to be in crowds, he would love to eat out and he has no problem when I scare him, lol.
The only thing he's said that bugs me, is after being locked up w/only men for 20 years, he says he'd need some female friends and to surround himself w/no men at all. Being madly in love w/him and I am the jealous type where HE is concerned, of course, I don't want any women in his life at all! Even at work, lol! :)
I guess it's all relative to the inmate, the institition, and the individuals they serve with.;)

Hubby did just over 7 straight last bid and he had some "behaviors" that were directly related to the bid length; simple decisions were more difficult, hard to make choices where many were offered (like on a restaurant menu), he was very sketchy in large crowds, he won't sit anywhere but with his back to the wall, etc.

Within about 6 months he'd adapted to the streets again though.

I saw no psychological issues though. He was pretty normal and still is - been in since 2003 this time and he's mentally fine, though I'm sure if he were to get out he'd be sketchy for a minute until he got used to freedom again.

retired-37
08-23-2009, 05:24 PM
What are your thoughts about the Psychological effects Prison has had/is having on your loved one?

Well, I think that people usually come out of prison in one of two ways. 1. They want to have someone telling them what to do/controlling them, because that is what they are used to (maybe because of depression) or 2. They do not want to be controlled at all and therefor have issues with people offering guidance or suggestions, because they feel they are trying to control them.

I believe most fall under description number 2. I believe people who have not been incarcerated can handle being "told" things better. Here is the only example I can think of. If my man comes home and is cooking in my new non stick pan and using a fork. Most, likely my reaction would be, "Hey, quit using that fork in my new pan. You are going to scratch it all up.!" BUT he may view that as controlling. I think they are A LOT more sensitive to how people say things. So, I will be sure to make it a suggestion "Babe, could you please use the plastic flipper over there to cook? Thanks, that way the pan won't get scratched up." That way it "appears" that I am asking him (giving him some control), instead of ordering him to do something.

I think most prison relationships fail when the man comes home, because of control issues. We, as women, have become set in our ways the years that they have been gone. It is difficult sometimes when he comes home and you've been mowing the grass in a diagonal pattern for the last 10 years and he mows it different. When you have always put the t.p. roll to go over and he does it under. Small things I know, but it does add up. And of course we always think our way is RIGHT. I mean we have been out here doing this for years now. lol. Change is difficult most of the time. (for me anyway) This may sound bad, forgive me for this, but in some ways we need to approach our man like we would our teenage son. He is going to have to learn new things (The world changes everyday, and if he's been locked up for years.) He doesn't want to be embarrassed or belittled. He may have to do things that he hasn't done in years or has never done. We need to be encouraging and give suggestions and help with respect and love. Yes, he is a man, but in all honesty, he may come out with some of the social abilities and skills of a teenage boy.

I really liked the part in the article about keeping them connected with the outside world. I see the importance of that. I am going to begin to send lots more pics of things in the world and start taking pictures of events I go to. I see where an outside connection helps them not lose touch with reality. Thanks for the article. I wish you the best upon your man arriving home.

Best wishes to all!
OMG, you have described me(#2) to the tee!! Wow, I'm really floored by this post........Thanxx for your insight and wisdom!! I don't know if you have any psychological training; but, you have given me more insight in this one post than my therapist.........in the almost 3 years that I've been out of prison!!!:thumbsup::thumbsup:......andy

wifeofMichael
08-23-2009, 06:02 PM
When Michael came home twelve years ago after fourteen months he just wanted to GO! We had just had a baby and I wanted to sit at home and chill. Eventually he became the home body he was before. Though I remember one night, about a month after he was home I went to wake him up after he fell asleep on the couch. I leaned over to kiss him awake and he literally came up with his arm drew back and his hand in a fist. Thankfully he looked before he hit and then he was very upset. He had NEVER before or since raised his hand to me. He asked me to please shake him at his feet, which I did for the first few years. Eventually I tried it again and he was fine. I guess I'll have to go back to shaking his feet again.

aba
08-23-2009, 09:35 PM
this was a great and fascinating post and i see it 2 ways....since i am 35 yrs old and facing possible incarceration i ask myself 2 questions...

1) are those who go in very young and come out still in their 20's or early 30's more fortunate because they still have so much life in front of them. not that a 35 doesn't have a lot of life in front of them but a 20 yr. old who does 5 years could still get out, go to college, and really not 'miss' too much, especially if he/she doesn't yet have a serious relationship/marriage and/or children?

2) is someone in their 30's or 40's who leaves behind a family or a successful career that they've worked so long and/or hard to build up and has essentially destroyed that looking at a very bleak future and hence would have a harder time re-adapting not just to society in and of itself but the challenges of supporting themselves, establishing and reestablishing relationships and rebuilding a career?

what scares me more then incarceration, which i've never experienced before is what my future will hold once i get out. of course nothing good would have resulted if i had not been arrested as that was in my opinion a blessing in disguise. however the ability to succeed post-incarceration (but not as a result of the psychological effects) is to me, very, very scary. just another way to look at this very deep thread wobabi started. thanks for listening.

Wobabi
08-24-2009, 10:07 AM
Aba good point,,,I think I could see it in several ways:
A young offender who is *raised* in prison is harder to change ways because its an indoctrination during the most formative time of their life. The time when they are forming thier moral code and judgement.
To *me* its like being raised with wolves takes a lot longer to redirect than one who just got lost in the woods a couple of years.
Older offenders can still come out and re-group faster be cause they have been instilled prior to incarceration the tools to survive and how to navigate life even when starting from scratch.
I wish you luck and stay strong!

Ms Unavailable
08-24-2009, 11:29 PM
I cry when I read this. A friend of mines went through the prison system and he was never the same again. The truth is, he didn't even do alot of prison time. He was young when he went to youth authority and it broke something in him that til this day is broken. He has long been off parole, but psychologically he is effected.

He has difficult time in relationships...it just breaks my heart. Im aware this may not be the case in everyone.

Thank you so much for sharing this Babi.

I pray for all of our loved ones. And I pray for each and everyone of us.

PEN PAL 2 FEW
08-25-2009, 01:15 AM
To be honest, this is something that crosses my mind often, my hubby entered the system at 14 in juvie, then to cya and on his 18th b-day was shipped to prison and has never left, :( he is almost at 19 years now and that is something that I worry about, him being institutionalized:( All I can do as his wife is support him in any way and I will do whatever it takes to make the transition smooth for him, he is worth it and I believe in him and that he wants a better future with us, his lil family.

choclgs
08-26-2009, 08:22 PM
The timing of me finding this thread after our last visit could not be described as coincidental. His response to something I did got way out of hand and I've been going back and forth about hit since this past weekend. Perhaps this article has some answers for me...

wickedtruth
08-26-2009, 09:21 PM
My man was taken from his mom and shoved into the system at about 8 years old. He went down for his first crime at about 14. Although he's never had a bid over 5 years continuously, he's spent more than 1/2 his life in prison. He's 46 now. I never had the chance to know the man he would have been because he never had the chance to be the man he could have been. By the time I met him I believe he was permanently institutionalized. Prison is easy for him, outside the walls not so much. This is the first time he's been away since we met and he miserable doing this short time. I believe before things crashed he was starting to become a regular person and it scared him so much he reverted to what was comfortable. This bid has shown him that what scares him more is not having the chance to see what it is to be a regular person. From my point of view I do believe that it has had a psychological impact but not personally knowing any one else in a different circumstance, I don't have a grasp on the general ideas of how it would effect people.

That made sense in my head but I'm not sure I got that to come out right.

Wobabi
08-27-2009, 08:32 AM
,,one thing I think many of us who support men/women coming out the system need to promote is therapy.
A lot of people think going to a shrink or therapy is for crazy people and really these days it most certainly is not all there is.
It needs to be seen like a class,,a class where you learn how to navigate thru job rejections, family death,and un planned pregnancies even.
Learning how to effective get your points across without letting emotions cloud the facts ect ect.
think about how many years they have been mis-educated and think about how long it will take to re-educate them,,,,
Also as much as we want to teach them sometimes it takes another professor or coach to point out somethings
just more food for thought,,,

spbabie112
08-27-2009, 12:13 PM
“The Psychological Impact of Incarceration:,,,,,,”

“The adaptation to imprisonment is almost always difficult and, at times, creates habits of thinking and acting that can be dysfunctional in periods of post-prison adjustment. Yet, the psychological effects of incarceration vary from individual to individual and are often reversible. To be sure, then, not everyone who is incarcerated is disabled or psychologically harmed by it. But few people are completely unchanged or unscathed by the experience.”
See link for entire article

http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/Haney.htm - II (http://aspe.hhs.gov/HSP/prison2home02/Haney.htm#II)


Now that this ride is closer to being over I have been thinking a lot more about the last 14 years of confinement my dude has been through. And though he swears he is not instiutionalized (Because according to him he always walked counter clock wise in prison:rolleyes:), I just know there is need to get better educated on the effects to keep my EYES WIDE OPEN.
The one thing that stuck out for me in this paper, was the suggestion on psychological resources (Professional Counseling)-treat this just like Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
In my mind I have to always preface it with the caveat LONG TERM attention.

What are your thoughts about the Psychological effects Prison has had/is having on your loved one?

Oh, yes. I have thought about it and I agree with it. Prison is a form of isolation, and within fifteen minutes of isolation we see abnormal behavior. (I am a Sociology student.) The longer a person remains in isolation, the longer this behavior continues and becomes a normal part of life. I just hope that his years of experience outside the walls will over power his small experience in. He knows how to deal with life, all he has to do is jump back into it and hit the ground running. There is no other way than to go back out and try.