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Husband incarcerated - trying to maintain relationships

Community Member

My partner of 20 years has recently been arrested and charged with an offence. He is being held without bail. He has never put a toe out of line in his life, is not a violent person, barely even raises his voice. Alcohol was involved in this incident (he is not a drinker).

I and my family, our friends etc support him but he may serve a jail sentence. We have a 5 year old.

I am trying to process this all, seeing a counsellor. I am still in shock I think - I am sure that feelings of anger will come at some point. I want to know how to best maintain a marriage when one partner is away for an extended period like this. And especially when a small child is involved.

Can anyone offer any advice? Or has anyone been through something similar? I want to know there will be a light at the end of this (long) tunnel. Also appreciate any self care tips - I am struggling to eat and sleep.

Thankyou x

14 Replies 14

Community Member

I don't have much support I can offer you in terms of yourself, but I work in one of the max security jails in Vic and I can answer questions about jails

Take care

Community Member

Thank you for your reply I really appreciate it.

He is currently in a remand Centre so he is class A high security but if he serves a sentence he will be minimum security thank goodness.

Ive been told that the prisons have good facilities for child visits I’m hoping this is true? Are visiting hours crazy like you have to line up for hours type thing?

Community Member

No wait times aren't crazy, you have an appointment time and it runs like clock work where I am...we won't accept a visit if you arrive 15 minutes late as we are such a large prison. Can process up to 150 in a day

I wouldn't say they are great for kids, but typically have a few toys and play area

It can be a daunting process when entering the jail, just go with the flow and try not to stress, it's the same process for everyone

It is a little more relaxed at a minimum security prison with more options for children

Remember your 100 points of ID (not required for under 16s)

Hopefully it's not too long. Writing letters is a big thing in prison, so write him letters and he'll write you. It's the best way to maintain that outside touch

It's hard as phone calls are capped at 12 minutes and at least in my jail there's two phones in units of 100

If you need any jail advice feel free to ask.

I hope your travelling okay too

Community Member

That is really good to know, thankyou. He’s still being processed but I’m hoping I can book a visit soon. Will I be able to hug him? Or is it no touching?

I’m writing a letter today, with some photos included - do these take a while to reach inmates do you know?

It could be several years inside so I am preparing for the worst, hoping for the best. I’m a lawyer so I know his lawyer and barrister are amazing and whatever the best case picture ends up looking like, they will get that for him. I’m seeing a counsellor and have some fancy new sleeping tablets that seem to be helping. I’m struggling with eating but I think that will improve as the days go by.

Thankyou so so much for your replies, it’s so good to hear some reassurance and solid info.

Community Member

Why is it taking so long to have him recepted? Is he still at the police cells?

Photos are okay, at my location you can only bring in 6 at a time and they must be standard size, check online to see each jails policy on what you can bring in.

Being a lawyer you won't be able to be his solicitor and a visitor, not sure what you're planning there, but the prisons won't allow you to be both

Yes, aslong as he isn't on box visits only you'll be able to hug him

Take care of yourself

Community Member

Forgot to say, photos and letters can take a week or more to get through.

They are reviewed before being giving to him

Community Member

There’s definitely no way I’d act as his lawyer, we’ve engaged lawyer and barrister. We will keep that all seperate, I don’t even want to discuss the specifics with him, I see my role as his partner being totally different to his legal team.

He arrived at the remand Centre yesterday and when I rang today to book a visit they said he was still being processed - he identified himself as having thoughts of self harm last night so perhaps that has delayed things? He was with a welfare nurse last night. I know they will keep him safe but I am still worried sick about him.

Thank you for the info re letters I will get one sent ASAP.

Do you know whether he can have books brought in to him?

Community Member

I work in a remand centre so understand the process.

He will need to add you to his visitors list, which can take a week or so as background checks are done before your added.

Where I am at he will need to book this visit himself and tell you when, it does vary jail to jail so it's best to check online.

Typically no prisoner would be able to book a visit for the day they arrive, but staff can assist him to set up his visitors list

Books can definitely be brought and also magazines. There are restrictions, no nudie ones, violent related ones and terrorism stuff etc

Being identified for self harm is okay, typically he'd be placed on hourly obs which just means an officer will sight him hourly and he'll be assessed by a nurse once a day

Most new prisoners (first timers) and those that present as vulnerable in the prison environment are placed on obs as a precaution when they first arrive

Community Member

Very different processes between States it seems.

He is not allowed any books brought in because the remand Centre is maximum security. I was able to book in to see him this week without background checks they just needed to verify my drivers license number.

Im going through the process now of trying to set up an account for him so he can at least purchase newspapers or magazines inside. I wish there was a really good guide published for families of inmates, for each facility, so that we knew what to expect. It’s so confusing.