Welcome to the official Strong Prison Wives and Families newsletter. I would love to have this be a monthly publication but will initially be bi-monthly as we develop it. I thought I would begin by re-introducing our mission statement and telling those who may be new here, a little more about why this organization exists and what sets us apart from many of the other wonderful advocacy groups we have in the prison movement.
While all of us work to make our loved one’s incarceration as fair as possible, essentially going to war against an unjust system, families often get lost in the tousle. There is much energy going to the individual behind bars, but those that stand beside them are suffering too. We have a separate kind of stigma. Many are single parents that are now grieving, alone, and financially burdened. Strong Prison Wives and Families seeks to support those on the outside, and build the very support system itself up, so we are strong enough to keep fighting for our loved ones.
SPWF strives to provide community and life tools to a population that may not have support from society. Many people can’t even be honest in public because an incarcerated partner could cause loss of friends, extended family, and even their job. But with the success of recidivism being reduced mainly by solid familial support on the outside, that connection needs to be protected as much as is healthy for everyone included.
Ro told Adam her goal was to help people be strong enough to stay or strong enough to leave, if the relationship is toxic. SPWF serves as an informative platform and a form of peer counseling that comes from being connected in this unique way. However, with one in four women having an incarcerated loved on, it really isn’t all that unique, rather it’s a taboo subject avoided in polite company.
Strong Prison Wives and Families works hard to provide that safe space, educate, and empower our members. We are an inclusive organization that prides itself in unity and the rejection of judgement and political bias of all kinds. There are often wars going on behind bars, but we, the families are the tether to the real world. We want to keep their focus on reality and higher purpose, and we do that by not getting sucked into that world of drama.
SPWF has platforms on all major social media outlets, with YouTube being the foundation point. This is where you can find, follow, and subscribe to all the valuable content Ro uploads multiple times per week. Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and Pinterest will all have shared content, and we have a private Facebook group, Invisible Shackles, for family of incarcerated peoples. This group is strictly monitored to provide a safe and supportive outlet for the many seeking support and community. We have a wide variety of volunteers that come from different backgrounds and experience to help support our members any way we can.
There has been a recent shift in awareness with many celebrities bringing the criminal justice system and the need for reform into public focus. Even a new series on prime-time TV, For Life, that actually does show some of what the families go through too. Love, hope, support, and connections don’t stop when the cuffs go on and iron doors slam shut. Trauma doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and that’s where we come in.
Keep staying strong, keep loving strong, because you’re one day closer to this all being behind you.
From our hearts to yours, we thank you for your support.
Strong Prison Wives & Families, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We seek to enhance the lives of inmate supporters through programs designed to provide empowerment, education and support; qualities we believe are essential to breaking the cycle of recidivism. Our mentoring program provides opportunities for dedicated, well-trained mentors to work with women who are willing to receive their support and guidance. It is our mission to create a positive culture that inspires the personal growth and development of every woman participating in our program. SPWF mentors are personally committed to encouraging and assisting all of those persons within their circle of influence to follow their lead toward a more happy, healthy and productive way of life.
There are more than 10.35 million prisoners in the world. https://www.prisonstudies.org/news/more-1035-million-people-are-prison-around-world-new-report-shows
Each of which has an average of 3 supporters. Yet, there are limited resources and minimal support offered to those 30 million supporters; most commonly spouses and family members.
An estimated 68% of released prisoners were arrested within 3 years, 79% within 6 years, and 83% within 9 years, according to studies cited at https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/measuring-recidivism – statistics .
Studies have consistently found that prisoners who maintain close contact with their family members while incarcerated have better post-release outcomes and lower recidivism rates. The programs within our Strong Prison Wives & Families network will help to effectively reduce the rate of recidivism by grooming a strong familial support system; providing advocacy, resources, education, mentoring and fellowship to each member throughout the duration of the prison sentence and well in advance of the inmate’s release back into the community.
In keeping with recommendations of the Charles Colson Task Force report , we strive to help spouses and family members during the most critical time of the inmate’s transition back into society. SPWF promotes healthy relationships and long-term change on the outside. We believe this to be an integral part of the family reunification process.