Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Friday, June 1, 2007

2 Year Rule

There is no dispute that prison puts a strain on marriages. I have wondered how long a man should reasonably expect his wife to wait. Actually I don't just wonder, I ask other inmates what they think. Most guys laugh. They say she always says she'll wait forever ("I love you baby!") but she's gone in six months.

Of course, each case is different. There's one guy here on a ridiculous 4 year sentence for an absolutely absurd charge. He is 55, been married 30+ years and is a devout Mormon with 7 children. His family moved from Orlando to Pensacola so they could visit every week. I have no doubt they will make it.

Then for some guys' families, this is like the final straw. She's gone the day he walks through the prison door.

However, for those guys that are married and here on a first offense that they are truly guilty of, there is something of a consensus that the 2 year mark is a watershed. The wife starts wondering if it is worth it after 2 years. Or the relationship simply runs out of gas.

I would certainly expect my wife to wait 2 years. I would not expect her to wait 10. Between 2 and 10, I don't know. Probably somewhere around 5 would be the cut-off.

I would tell her to divorce me, take the money (leave me a little to start over with) and get on with your life. If she's still available when I get out, we can deal with that then.

What do you think?

4 comments:

Benjamin said...

Of course, each case is different. There's one guy here on a ridiculous 4 year sentence for an absolutely absurd charge. He is 55, been married 30+ years and is a devout Mormon with 7 children. His family moved from Orlando to Pensacola so they could visit every week. I have no doubt they will make it

What was his absurd charge? I'm totally curious, but understand if he needs privacy.

thanks for blogging

Anonymous said...

Well, my husband will be leaving in two weeks to a federal prison for 3 years on a ridiculous absurb charge and was railroaded in a conviction by some over zealous assistant US prosecutors....I'm totally angry over the whole situation and while I'm not happy that he'll be gone for 3 years - I married him for better or worse...and I'm planning on waiting for him...my daughter and I will visit often...he needs our support and I won't turn my back on him....you're lucky you only got 3 months!

Mark said...

prison life is what you make of it,been there before and know what you feel at times, be happy that your time is short, and never take the love of your family for granted, because in the end my friend they are all we have in this world.hope everything goes well for you when you get out, peace my friend

Judy said...

My husband recieved a five year sentence for a charge for which he was completely guilty of making. He made ridiculous immature choices that left his three children and i to defend for ourselves for 5 years. Now i know i said for better or for worse but did he not say those words too? He's been gone three years now and has two left. I have stood behind him the entire time thusfar.I took our children to see him every single weekend for the first two years because he was only 2 hours away but now he is nearly 6 hours away and finances are getting tight so our visits are getting further and further apart. But never the less he still demands all the things he wants or thinks he needs. And now for the first time i'm starting to doubt everything. Do i love him? Of course i do! But am i wrong for doubting his ability to make up for his mistake since he still thinks that he didn't do anything wrong? You say 5 years is the cut off date? Tell me would you have waited 5 years for your wife? Could you have made that kind of sacrifice? Saying yes to that question is too easy. Try living the life of that one person waiting out here. It's much harder than you think.