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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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Hi, I am an educated white female that is facing federal prison,

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Hi, I am an educated white female that is facing federal prison, possibly 24-36 months, for a white collar crime that I am the process of working out a plae deal with my attorney. My question is not about my well being but, I am am very very concerned about how to handle my potential prison "away" time with my 8 year old daughter. My husband is very supportive and we both are unsure of what do we tell our daughter about this situation. Do I encourage my husband to bring my daughter to see me while I am at a women's federal prison camp? How will she process this information? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Hello,
I would like to help you with your question.
I am sorry this is happening to you..and to your family. Based on my experience working in the criminal justice system, I encourage you to be open and honest with your daughter - keeping your explanation to what she can handle cognitively and emotionally.
Even though she is 8 years old - still a very tender age - she can and will be able to handle the truth. And..yes...she should absolutely be allowed to see you. If you are at a federal prison the facilities are not going to be awful...and they will have had a great deal of experience with children.
I encourage you to talk to your attorney about the possible camps you might be sent and then gather as much information as you can about them. Often you will be able to find pictures on the Internet, a history of the institution and so forth. You can use these to talk to your daughter about where you will be and what you will be doing there. That's another point...find out what kind of work assignments they have, and what opportunities you will have for church, education, and so forth. The more information you can share with your daughter the better so that she will form realistic images in her mind of where you are...rather than leaving this to her imagination.
This will also help you prepare yourself for incarceration.
There are a number of publications about the benefits of having children visit their incarcerated parents. Give me a minute and I will see if I can quickly run any of those down.
In the meantime, I will send this post off to you and then I will be back with additional information.
Here are 3 publications to take a look at. As you will read...maintaining the parent child bond is critical and that supports my statement that your daughter should be visiting you.
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/prison2home02/parke-stewart.htm
http://www.library.ca.gov/crb/00/notes/v7n2.pdf
http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/ChildrenOfIncarceratedParentsFacts.pdf
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you so much for the advice of how to handle this situation with my daughter. Everything that I have been dealing with has been on the legal side which has little emotion and I needed some guidance as to how to start getting in the right mindset on how to approach this with her . Thank you again
Hello...
You are very welcome.
I can only imagine what you are going through! And yes...the legal process is terribly stressful...and there are rules about how you present yourself that you must follow to be successful in court.
However...you are a mother and how to parent while you are away will be upper most in your mind as that reality comes closer and closer.
If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know. You can always post a new question to me - just include my name in the beginning of the question.
Take care!
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