Your children are one of life’s most precious gifts a parent can ask for, and watching them grow up right before your eyes can bring unimaginable joy and happiness to the highest degree possible.
Year after year you try and make a point of always being there for them, from birthday celebrations, Christmas, Halloween, and other celebrated events you try and show your support – even when things get busy and hectic at work or otherwise similar situations.
That’s why, as a parent, watching your child fall from grace can be the worst possible scenario imaginable.
After all, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare to encounter a scenario where they have to decide and plan a new course of action that now involves the justice system.
what to do if your son or daughter goes to jail for life?
It’s certainly an easy thing to panic about, but given the situation, the first thing you need to do is remain calm and focused, and realize that there is a lot of knowledge at your fingertips. In fact, the basis of this post will be about exploring your options, so let’s explore this topic together.
First, realize That You Are Not Responsible For Their Actions:
Sadly, the first thing most parents do when their son or daughter is incarcerated is that they begin to blame themselves for the actions of their child.
As a parent, I can certainly understand how easy it is to take full responsibility for their actions, but when all is said and done and logic prevails, it’s important to realize that you are not responsible for the crime that they have committed.
Time and time again way to many parents fall into the trap of victimhood…
They rack their brain practically every minute of the day, trying to think back to a time and event when their parenting skills failed, forcing their child down the wrong path into criminality.
The truth is, unless you really are a terrible parent who inflicted cruelty upon your child, you really have to stop blaming yourself and find the strength to move on with your life before you suffer both a mental and physical breakdown.
Please remember, moving on with your life and taking the proper care necessary to live a healthy life does not mean that you are abandoning them, it means you need to find the right balance where you can be there for them while also remaining strong for yourself.
When you will have the first contact After Arrested:
As of now, our current judicial system does not allow prisoners to receive any incoming calls under no circumstances, you generally should be able to speak to them shortly after their imprisonment – usually within a day or two if things go smoothly and there are no security risks where they are serving time (lockdown being the most common reason).
The majority of folks serving time are at least given the opportunity to make one free call within their first 24 hours after being incarcerated.
In the sad event that the prison phones are especially busy, or the prison is facing lockdown as I mentioned above, you should still be able to hear from them a day or two later, so take comfort in knowing that they do have rights, and your child is legally allowed to execute that right when things settle down.
Dealing with The financial Blowback Of Incarceration:
Many parents find it extremely difficult to deal with the financial ramifications when a son or daughter is sent to prison for life.
Families can easily end up in debt rather quickly – especially when there are lawyers and time off work, which can obviously introduce further stress and anxiety.
Subsequently, It is helpful to make and follow a budget so that you can learn to live within your means, make savings wherever possible and to guarantee that you can safely pay for anything that your children’s needs – especially if they are still going through the system
On the flip side of things, It is also important to carefully consider the potential risks before taking on any debt. Most people are only one or two paychecks away from homelessness, so please factor in how you will pay back any loans or lawyer retainers.
If you are married or with a common-law partner, you might be tempted to hide your finances from your partner, but it is important to make sure that everyone is aware of financial constraints and possible ramifications.
Jigsaw can help you get in touch with agencies who can give advice on financial matters, and the One Parent Families free phone service (0800 018026) is also able to offer information and support about coping with debt.
Consider Joining A Parent Support Group:
It’s not uncommon for parents to feel alone and afraid after their son or daughter has been arrested, that’s why many experts recommend supportive parents should seriously consider joining a social support group designed to connect you with other parents facing the same traumatic event.
One reason some parents seem resistant to the whole idea of peer support groups is that they fear that they don’t have the time to drive to some meeting halfway across town. What they fail to realize, however, is that many parents are in the same position so many of these support groups are held over the internet.
And the good thing about joining a virtual support group is that there are practically thousands of these sites with many more being created on a daily basis.
Subsequently, parents now have the opportunity to join as many as they like, and they have the ability to pick and choose which ones align more with what they’re looking for.
No doubt, losing a son or daughter to the justice system is a heart-wrenching experience, not only for the parents but also extended family members as well.
Sadly, most families have no idea what to do if your son or daughter goes to jail for life.
Most parents who are close to their children have a difficult time dealing with a child who is serving two, three and five-year prison sentences, but serving a life-sentence takes the entire situation to a whole new level that impacts and potentially devastates the family involved.
There certainly is no easy way around the stress and fear that comes with a son or daughter facing a lifetime of incarceration, but thankfully we live in a digital age where the internet has the potential to connect people all over-the-world and face a common problem with such force and unity.
You are not alone, and with the right support and mindset you can regain your strength so that you can not only be there for your incarcerated loved one but for your immediate family as well.