How do I cope if a family member goes to prison?

If someone you love goes to prison, it does not reflect upon your character. Make sure you have someone you can talk honestly to who can support you, so you can support your loved one.

Source: A Guide for Families Coping with Life after an Arrest @ Jigsaw Visitors Centre

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  • Coping When a Loved One is in Prison: Taking Care of Yourself During a Friend or Family Member’s Jail Time @ Suite101.com

    Excerpt: A few self-care tips from organizations that offer support to families of prisoners: Find someone you can talk to honestly about how you feel, be it a counselor or a trusted friend, but don’t feel you have to tell everyone. Some people will respond with love and support while others will distance themselves, so learn to rely on those who are accepting and who offer help; Give yourself permission to feel the way you do, even if that means feeling angry at your loved one for leaving you, or overwhelm at your life as it is now; Take care of your survival needs and your emotional needs with at least as much care as you give to the emotional needs of your absent partner or loved one; Seek financial support if the loss of your family member or partner’s income leaves you on shaky financial ground; You may find it helpful to seek out online resources and forums for family members and loved ones of inmates. There are plenty of people going through the same thing you are, and it may help to share and read some of their stories.


  • Coping with a family member who is in prison @ A4e

    Excerpt: Some people find that they feel confused at what has happened, particularly if you did not expect your loved one to get a custodial sentence. However, rather than allowing your negative feelings to overtake you, focus on the fact that they will be coming out of prison and look towards that date instead. Finally, make sure that you accept help and support from others as well as supporting your family member who is in prison. If you are not looking after yourself you can’t be a source of support for your loved one.

Message supplied by: Rich @ Respect Yourself