A Message for Extended Family Members
Our family may consist of far more than our parents. Grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins are all family*for some, closer than parents. Later on, spouse, children and in-laws expand our family and we may have friends who are even closer that some of our family members and to whom we refer as cousins, sisters or brothers.
When a person is imprisoned, for whatever reason, a crucial issue becomes continued family contact. This is often thought of by the authorities as parents, spouses and children- who fill important roles in building confidence behind the prison walls and keeping up self esteem. But it need not be limited to those people; the extended family is just as important*continual contact with the entire family not only gives extra support but aids greatly in promoting good behavior and an easier transition when the time comes for re-entry into society.
In a close, extended family, when one we love faces a prison term, we all experience anger, resentment, outrage and horror, and together is the best way. We may need to take a break from our incarcerated loved one, but most of us cannot permanently turn away from those we love and who love us.
Now is the time when we really need each other’s support. We live in a society with many religious beliefs, and almost all of them profess forgiveness. It is so important for extended family members to do just that--forgive and provide all the support possible to our imprisoned loved ones.
Here, your problems are our problems; we all need to talk, to vent, to educate ourselves in prison matters. Confidentiality is a prime directive and at Prison Families of New York everything is kept private. We can help you in many ways as you support your loved one and learn coping skills necessary to get through your ordeal. You CAN survive this life!
From Kenn, a loving uncle of a NYS prisoner