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Should i allow my son to visit his father who is in Prison for life?

 
 
cindy20
 
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 09:32 pm
My son just turned 3 years old. His dad (Joe) and i were broken up before i found i was pregnant. He was sentenced to life on his third offense, and sent to prison before our son was born. A part of me feels like Prison is no place for children, being that, Joes has told me (in a written letter) that there are child molesters, rapers, and murderers there (of course). and i really don't feel comfortable about bringing me and my son around those kind of people. But i have sympathy for him sometimes, and i would want my children to come visit me if i were in prison. I know i will allow him to see his son one day i just don't know if i should do it now while he is still young or when he is older if he wants too. Also Joe had gotten into a fight with some other men who beat him up and threaten him, and i feel very cautious to show my face, not knowing what kind of men are crazy enough to threaten us because of what Joe did. I fear for our lives if we go to visit him, then again i do feel that the least i can do is to let him see his son just once. This visiting thing will not be a visit every other month kind of thing. I don't know what to do? please help? and please no judgmental comments
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Type: Question • Score: 19 • Views: 9,752 • Replies: 106

 
jcboy
 
  5  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 09:39 pm
@cindy20,
Well if it were me I’d wait until he was old enough to understand why his father is in prison and let him make the decision. Just my opinion.
0 Replies
 
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 10:33 pm
Has Joe asked you to bring your son to see him?
If he has, tell him about your concerns which you outlined in your first post, and see what he says.
If he says "bring him, it'll be okay" you can do the christian thing and take the boy to visit him, even if it's just one visit.
When the boy grows up he can decide for himself whether he wants to keep on visiting his dad.
Meantime you and your son can keep in touch with Joe by letters, and you can include photos of the boy growing up, and also include little scribbly pictures and things the boy has done.

PS when i was serving a 3-month jail sentence (vigilante rap), I never told any of my family or friends I was in jail because I didn't want to put them through the inconvenience of having to visit me. When I got out they asked me "Where've you been?" and i told them "In the slammer"..Smile
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 11:26 pm
@cindy20,
The visiting area isn't situated in an area in which prisoners come and go without strict supervision.

Your son will not be exposed to prison life or other prisoners by visiting his father.

It seems highly unlikely that by visiting your son's father you will be targeted by the prisoners with which he has fought. Seeing your faces isn't going to make such retalliation automatically possible or inevitable.

If these prisoners want to punish your husband by harming his family they don't need to see your faces to do so.

Unless your husband is the kingpin of a powerful prison gang, their desire for revenge, to the extent it exists, will be expressed directly upon your husband. If this conflict has a scope far beyond what your post suggests, his enemies will have the ability to find you and your son regardless of whether or not you visit.

I don't, for one second, mean to suggest that you should be concerned for your safety and the safety of your son because your husband was involved in a prison brawl. It's seems pretty clear that your husband is not a crime overlord, and if he was he would have the resources and ability to protect you and your son.

My point is that the brawl in which he was involved should not be a deciding factor as to whether or not you allow his son to visit him. It is very unlikely that a visit will put you and your son in jeopardy.

This is not to say you should, necessarily, allow the visit.

You husband is, obviously, a habitual criminal facing a life sentence. It would not be unreasonable for you to decide that nothing positive, for your son, would come from a visit with his father.

Does your son want to visit his father?

If he doesn't, then I would say don't bring him to see your husband. If he truly cared for your son he would not have continued his criminal activites. He is not owed the sight of your son.

If he does, I would say you should.

The only reasons you have offered for not allowing the visit don't seem to carry much weight.

Your son will not be exposed to pedophiles and murderers by visiting his father, and the visit is extremely unlikely to put you and him in danger.

If you have another and better reason(s) not to allow the visit, then don't.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 02:11 am
@cindy20,
Have you bothered to ask the prison what is involved in a visit?

In what way do you think your son will be 'around those sort of people'?

- They aren't going to talk to him, so that can't be 'being around' him
- they are on the other side of a screen (unless you have a conjugal visit), so that can't be 'around him'

Have you ever heard of a visitor getting beaten up by inmates? (I've never).

Ask the prison, not people here.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 06:05 am
I agree with jcboy. Id wait until the kid could appreciate the experience and the meeting. As for the fathers needs, if you communicate with him by email (or whatever is allowed), maybe if you send pictures in the meantime and tell Joe that youll bring his son around for a visit when he turns, say, 6.

A 3 year old cant comprehend it all. It may give him nightmares and it may give him unresolvable conflicts.

IMHO.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 06:27 am
@vikorr,
Quote:
Have you ever heard of a visitor getting beaten up by inmates? (I've never).


No however I had hear of women as in wives or girlfriends being blackmail into bringing contraband into prison by either threats to themselves or their boyfriends/ husbands by prison gangs.

How must of a real risk this is however I have no idea at all.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 09:30 am
I'm going to split the difference here.

The prison isn't going to just let everybody see your son. Don't worry about that. There are guards, locks, etc. This isn't just going to be some big free for all where the visitors all go to the prison and hang out with everybody.

It's far more likely that the only way that anyone inside, other than your son's father, will know who specifically is visiting him is if he tells them himself.

I do think that the son should go to see his father, and the father should see his son. But later. Three is awfully young and I agree with farmerman that it will likely be frightening and confusing. I think it should be later.

I'm also not so sure about giving the kid too much input into doing it. The father still has some rights, and, even if the kid doesn't want to go, well, sometimes we need to face unpleasant things. And this is a mighty unpleasant one indeed, but this is reality. Avoiding the father completely, based upon a six-year-old's say-so, is giving the child an inordinate amount of power. Should he be asked his preference? Sure, if you'd like. But I think this should not be absolute veto power for a young child like that.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 09:44 am
Well, I'm going to buck the trend and say you shouldn't take him to visit him. Not a good role model, for starters. You guys had broken up before you even knew you were pregnant. What has he done for you and your child? He is in prison for LIFE - he can't provide you with anything. Not much of a relationship there, is there? I wouldn't even tell my child his father was in prison.

In addition, how's that going to sound to his friends? "Hey, where's your dad?" "In prison for life" Not good. I'd rather say I didn't have one than I do but he's an inmate for the rest of his life.

You can feel sorry for the guy all you want, but he put himself there and it's your job to look after your son; telling him his dad's in prison (much less taking him for a visit) is a bad idea, IMO. And 3 yrs old is waaay too young anyway. He won't understand any of it.
Jack of Hearts
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 10:49 am
@cindy20,
cindy20 wrote:

i would want my children to come visit me if i were in prison.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 10:51 am
@Mame,
My reply is not very wordy nor is it creative.

Ditto what you wrote.
0 Replies
 
Nom de plume
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 11:22 pm
@Mame,
I agree with Mame here. Sounds like your relationship with the sperm donor was just that. He is not, nor will he ever be a father to this child. Get on with your life and provide a good life for your son, sans prison. There is no upside to having him visit his sperm donor.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2013 11:45 pm
@Nom de plume,
Quote:
Sounds like your relationship with the sperm donor


So if a man is unable to help support his children then he is no longer a father but just a sperm donor?

Does this apply only to men who end up in prison but also to those men who by way of accidents or diseases can not do the normal things that would support his family?

Does this also apply to women who end up in prison or for other reasons can no longer support her family is she now an egg donor?
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 07:13 am
@BillRM,
The father also does have some rights here. He may or may not want to take the time to exercise him, but it's not like he was a test tube.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 07:46 am
The needs of your son are the most important. I think we all agree on that.

I think that having your son visit is father is the right thing to do. Here are my reasons.

1. When your son is older and starts asking who he is, he will want to know about his father. Imagine him being 13 or 14 and finding out that he was not allowed to visit his father in prison. I think this is the most harmful thing that could happen.

2. Visits to prison have no real risk. Children visit their parents in prison all the time. It is completely safe and supervised.

3. There is a possible benefit to your son even at 3. If after one or two visits there is a bond between your son and his father, this would be a very good thing. Your son will have a lasting connection to his father that will be very helpful to him as a teenager. If these visits don't go well, the worse that will happen is that you stop going. There isn't much harm that can happen from these supervised visits.

I would add to this the fact that this is the right thing to do from a moral point of view. The father screwed up and is paying the price... but he should still be given the chance to have a connection with his child.

But the real reason I think that you should take your son to visit is because in the long term it is the best thing for your son.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 07:51 am
@maxdancona,
we agree ti disagree, I feel that a 3 year old has no concept of the boundaries between reality and fantasy. "prison" "Life in Prison" "Daddy in prison for life" wont make ANY sense to him.
Wait a few years and then Id agree with most of your conclusions

You are completely on the pointwith
"This should all be about the welfare of the kid", not anything that's of value to Mom
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 07:51 am
@maxdancona,
we agree ti disagree, I feel that a 3 year old has no concept of the boundaries between reality and fantasy. "prison" "Life in Prison" "Daddy in prison for life" wont make ANY sense to him.
Wait a few years and then Id agree with most of your conclusions
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 07:56 am
@maxdancona,
The only nit I have to pick with this is the child's age. I would wait a bit. But there is no reason not to lay an earlier foundation, such as by sending cards or letters.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 08:07 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
we agree ti disagree, I feel that a 3 year old has no concept of the boundaries between reality and fantasy. "prison" "Life in Prison" "Daddy in prison for life" wont make ANY sense to him.


A three year old wants a connection. He doesn't need the details. I don't understand why "Daddy in prison for life" is preferable to "you don't have a daddy".

The upside of this visit is that the child will have a connection with his father starting from when he is three years old. From the child's point of view these visits will mean him going to a well-lit room to see someone who cares about him and with whom he shares a connection.

If the visits goes well, the child may even enjoy these visits and will develop a connection which will quite likely be valuable. The child can have a connection. Sure there is a difficult reality that the child will have to face when he is older... but he is going to have to face this reality whether or not he has a connection with his father. I think it is much better to have this connection.

But for now, when the child is 3, there is no reason that he can't have these visits with his father and focus on building this relationship. You can do this witout the need to explain more than the child is ready to understand.

I don't see the downside to these visits from the point of view of the child.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2013 08:11 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I don't understand why "Daddy in prison for life" is preferable to "you don't have a daddy".


Where did I say that?
The concept of seeing his father in an environment that the kid wont understand.AS I SAID--on this point we agree to disagree
 

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