I have always had a respect for the families and loved ones of people in prison. One simple reason is that someone in prison only need walk a few hundred yards to get to the visits hall, as for the families and loved ones, I’m sorry but I can only imagine what it is like getting to a visit. Video calling has not replaced the need to visit loved ones, even if it will mean a round trip of 500 miles in a process similar to getting to an Airline booking desk, turning up two hours before the gate opens with three young children in tow. For what? Hour, hour an half? or if you’re extremely lucky, a slightly longer family visit. How can you not have respect for that? And the family and loved ones have done nothing wrong.
Since becoming involved in campaigning for reforms in our criminal justice system, I have become even more aware of the difficulties faced by the families and loved ones of people in prison. Not just the difficulties faced, but also the stigma and discrimination the innocent families and loved ones have to suffer almost daily.
I’m involved in a fundraising campaign for two charities who are doing all they can to support the families and loved ones of people in prison, however, this blog is about something completely different.
One of the two charities is Children Heard and Seen and recently:
“On March 30th 2021, families supported by Children Heard and Seen were interviewed by both BBC Look North and BBC South about the impacts that lockdown had on their children.
This was a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness surrounding difficulties faced by our families over the last year.”You can watch the two clips here: http://childrenheardandseen.co.uk/2021/03/31/watch-families-supported-by-children-heard-and-seen-speak-about-the-impact-of-lockdown-and-their-childrens-relationship-with-the-parent-in-prison/
These are just some of the negative comments that were posted on social media following the BBC News piece.
The families and loved ones are innocent, I would go as far as saying they are also victims. Is this how victims of crime are treated these days? I thought it was in prison where I lived amongst bad people, it’s even worse out here. At least in prison, we are guilty! Or is love and support now a crime?