Experiences of partners of male prisoners
Bruynson, Kathryn Jane
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The consequences of imprisonment are felt not only by prisoners themselves but also their family members. Prisoners may be alone in a cell or on trial but most have families and friends that often feel as though they are imprisoned along with their loved ones. There is a limited body of research conducted on partners of incarcerated men and the far-reaching effects of imprisonment on these secondary victims within the Canadian context. However, the research that is available suggests that families face many difficulties when one of its members is incarcerated. This study explores the experiences of female partners of incarcerated men. Crisis Theory directs qualitative data collected from in-depth interviews with ten women. The results indicate that women whose male partners are incarcerated experience many difficulties including stigmatization, financial barriers and emotional stresses. The findings not only highlight the difficulties female partners of male prisoners face but suggest some effective coping mechanisms that the women use to endure such difficulties. This research serves as an exploratory work for larger works that can provide basic policy recommendations.