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Family Arrested: How to Survive the Incarceration of a Loved One

NCJ Number
Ann Edenfield
Date Published
188 pages
This document details how families survive the incarceration of loved ones.
Arguing that the incarceration of a loved one is almost as stressful as a death in the family, this manuscript discusses ways that families cope with the incarceration of loved ones. In this first person account, the author details ways to deal with the arrest, trial, and imprisonment of a loved one. Coming from personal experiences with the United States legal and prison system and the incarceration of her husband in a Federal prison, the author begins by detailing the arrest and indictment of her husband. Focusing on the legal system, the author discusses hiring an attorney to defend her husband, arguing for the limitations of a public defender. Presenting information on plea-agreements and bond and bail issues, the author provides a concise discussion of how to approach the legal requirements following the arrest of a loved one. Describing what happens following the arrest, the author discusses facing community members, friends, and neighbors, helping children and teenagers cope with the arrest of their parent, and ways to hold a marriage together. Presenting a chapter called “options,” the author references escaping from the law, turning to drugs, suicide, and various other “options” for dealing with the arrest of a loved one. After stressing the importance of understanding the law, the author details survival skills for family members including how to handle being a single parent and being home alone. Discussing prison visits, this document provides a series of things to do and not do when visiting an incarcerated loved one. Following a discussion of ways to stretch the family income following the incarceration of a primary breadwinner, the author suggests the positive benefits of keeping a journal for self-reflection and self-esteem building. Addressing prison life, this manuscript details daily life in prison, inmate health care, and emergency furloughs. Focusing on the aftermath, the author discusses potential changes in family life and ways to cope upon the incarcerated individual being released. The author concludes this work with a discussion of how her life has changed since her husband’s arrest, presenting daily affirmations, a glossary of legal terms, toll free numbers for motels and hotels, and contact information for various outreach agencies.