by Sheri Stritof
the divorce rate among couples where one spouse is incarcerated for a year or more is 80% for men and nearly 100% for women. That does not leave many couples in this situation with great hopes of their marriage work.
"Between the arrest of a married man and the end of his first year in prison, 80 percent of marriages split up, Mr. Grant said for female prisoners, the divorce rate is more close to 100 percent, he said "
Source: Rick Lyman,". .. wedding Programs Try to instill Bliss and stability behind bars ", NYTimes.com, 16/04/05
Judee Reeves wrote in 1994, "prisoners' families have been called the" hidden victims of crime "(Carlson and Cervera, 1992, p.5). When a crime is committed, there are victims other than the victim (s) primary These secondary victims include families of the main victim and another group often overlooked victims -.. family members of the person who committed the crime families of prisoners are often neglected in the research and design in social programs, but many suffer devastating consequences as a result of the imprisonment of a hand. "
Some prisons host seminars for married inmates and their spouses. Most of these programs a day or two to focus on improving relationships, communication, conflict management, and self-awareness.
So most spouses who are left at home suffer from a feeling of being an outcast, guilt, shame, loneliness, financial distress and sexual frustration. Phoning can be expensive. There is even the stress of visiting room procedures that many prisons require families.
The feeling of being demoralized begins even before a loved one is sent to prison. About 50% of marriages involving a possible end of sentence in separation or divorce before an incarcerated spouse.
From the research we have done on the Internet, this is a marriage aspect that seems to have been very little research or study. It is certainly one that needs more attention and support. We have friends who have presented workshops and seminars to couples in prison. They said it was one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Have any of you have had that experience - either as a presenter or participant? What are your thoughts and feelings about this?