Prison Visits: The Emotional Toll
Phillip Gibson | 28.05.2015
1. Loss of freedom
Prisons are not good places to be. Offenders have to deal with the loss of autonomy and the restrictions over every aspect of their daily lives, and they may feel unsafe in the prison environment.
According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, mental and physical health services are often inadequate, and access to drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and educational programs can be limited. Offenders who have been jailed for more than three years can’t vote in elections.
There are also issues with overcrowding in many prisons. In fact, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that prisoner numbers are increasing across Australia, climbing to a ten-year high of nearly 34,000 in 2014.
2. The effect on family
Being imprisoned doesn’t just impact on the inmate either. Incarceration can be a traumatic experience for offenders and their families alike, and can leave everyone feeling confused and helpless. Prison visits can be upsetting for families, particularly children.
As well as the emotional toll, there can be issues surrounding the looking after of children, and the loss of income from one parent. There can also be costs or transport difficulties involved in families visiting offenders who are incarcerated a long way from home.
3. Future challenges
Being convicted of a crime and serving time in prison can impact an offender’s life long after they released. A criminal record can dent a person’s general employment prospects for years, leading to financial hardship. Having a criminal conviction may restrict an offender from working in specific occupations too, such as with children or in the security industry, and can also restrict their ability to travel to certain countries.
The bottom line
Spending time in prison isn’t on anyone’s wish list, and the loss of freedom is just one reason why. Being incarcerated can have far-reaching effects for years to come.
Logically, the best course of action is to simply avoid doing anything that could see you facing time behind bars.
That being said, however, one can often be subject to accusation or misfortune, or make a bad decision. If you do find yourself in any trouble with the law, contact one of our criminal defence lawyers to discuss your situation.
If you need advice from a criminal defence lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately at either our Sydney or our Parramatta offices. We have particular experience in all types of criminal proceedings. Call 1800 NOT GUILTY or fill in our contact form and arrange a free conference with a solicitor today.