Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dear Mr. Jackson, 
I found you this evening by doing an internet search on reintegration and recovery from incarceration.  My 27 year old son was released from prison on Tuesday and that same day he was jailed for refusing to agree to comply with rules at a halfway house.  Ryan has mental health issues and has been a pot user, and I suspect more.  He has spent the last few years homeless and in an out of jail, but two years ago, he assaulted a police officer who he claims was treating him disrespectfully and was sentenced to 22 months in prison minus jail time served.  I could write a book on the experience of living with and loving my son, the trauma caused to my family and my self because of his actions, his choices, and my unwillingness to give up on him.  
While I love him, I have always tried to make sure that I was not part of the problem, not enabling him and constantly seeking resources and answers for what we were dealing with.  He is in Wisconsin, and I am two states away.  I would appreciate any suggestions or resources that I might access or suggest to him to get him headed in a better direction.  I was hoping that he would be ready to make some changes in his life, but it doesn’t appear that way from his choices again at the halfway house.  I look forward to reading your website and gleaning whatever information might help our circumstances.
Thank you, 
Debb

Dear Debb,
Unfortunately, I cannot give you much advice on your son. I will acknowledge that the practice of putting people with mental health issues in prison, as opposed to treating them, is a common practice everywhere. I’m not sure what the circumstances at the halfway house were to cause him to choose prison instead, but halfway houses usually lots of rules and personal scrutiny of the people who live there. Sometimes the rules and restrictions at halfway houses are stricter than they are inside the prison. Sometimes there are benefits and opportunities to going to a halfway house, but there are also a lot of distracting temptation and chances to mess up. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for someone to decline or refuse the opportunity to leave prison early for a halfway house. Many times it turns out to be a good decision for them. They would rather just not deal with the aggravation and extra pressure. They're usually going to be released soon anyway.

You might want to see if there is a support group for families of incarcerated people in your area. There is a website called Prisontalk.com that has discussion forums and other support info that might help you. I wish your family the best. 
Do Good! 
mbj

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Education in Prison

Hi Michael,
First I want to congratulate you on your book "How to love and inspire your man after prison". The title to this book fulfills and exceeds what I was looking for when I went online searching for help. Short version to my long story. My fiancé was locked up earlier this year and is not due to get out till 2016. He is at a federal prison in LA- Polluck ups.
I Am out here educating myself about life with a loved one that is incarcerated and at the same time trying to help him in each and every way I can. He would love to do some college courses so that he can increase his employment opportunities once he gets out. The few distance colleges that would offer him anything are too expensive for me. Is there any other direction that you can point me into? To my shock the government no longer offers college grants to inmates.
Happy holidays and may as many Blessings continue to pour your way, for you and your family.
Thanks Rita

Hi Rita, i'm happy you found my book helpful. I want to refer you to this website at Prisontalk.com. -http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54695 -.
PTO is a really helpful and supportive online community of people with loved ones in prison. The info on this page is a little dated, but many of the links may still be relevant. You can also talk to and get advice fro others in the chat rooms about what services are out there.
You may also want to send him other mind stimulating materials such as books. My book "How to Do Good After Prison: A Handbook for Successful Reentry", is a good start. It has tip and suggestions for him to be proactive in his own personal growth while in prison. Send a variety and wide range of reading materiel, as reading is the important thing. I speak about that in "How to Inspire Your Man After Prison".
Let me know how you make out.Happy Holidays to you and yours also. Good luck. Do Good! mbj

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wife Cheats on Incarcerated Hubby

Dear Michael, 
i am writing to you because i am at loss at where to go from this moment. my husband has been in prison for only eighteen months. we expected he would be down for at least four years. we have three small children. one night i went out with some friends. i had sex with some other man. now he may get to come home early. i don't want to live a lie. but i don't want to loose him either. he has told me over and over that he will love me always no matter what. but i am terrified that what he said and what he meant were two different things. please help me to decide whats best for my family. i honestly couldn't see living a day in my life with out him. thanks, should've stayed home. Laci

Dear Laci, 
Your question seems to be whether or not you should tell your husband that you had sex with another man while he was in prison.
Speaking as a married man who loves his wife, I feel that I would also love her “no matter what”. However, that doesn’t mean that I would not be devastated and heart broken if she told me that she had slept with another man. I’m not saying it would be quick or easy, but when the drama dust settled, I think I could find a way to forgive her and work through. Maybe I would try to understand her position, especially if I had left her alone to raise 3 small children while I was in prison. If I were to find out about it from a third source, it would add the elements of betrayal and distrust in the mix that would be much harder for me (as a man) to overcome in our relationship. On the other hand, I believe somewhat in the old adage “what you don’t know won’t hurt you”. You did say that he said he would love you always “no matter what”. You must decide whether he meant it. I talk more about this and other relationship situations in my book "How to Love & Inspire Your Man After Prison" by Michael B. Jackson. I wish you and your husband the best of luck. Do Good. mbj

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Choice: Sex Offender or my 2 young daughters?

Michael B, I lived with a registered sex offender and had 2 miscarriages by him. I wanted him to have a normal home and happy life. He has 2 girls from a marriage before. He says he wasn’t there when it happen. I know they all say that but I feel deep down his family would not lie, even his mom. It has been over between us now for 3 weeks and it is hard. I love him but he says his 2 years in prison changed him and he hates the world. I don't know if I should give him a chance or not. I am scared of him and my kids even though he didn’t do it. We was so happy together until I had to tell my family everything about him then it was miserable and I miscarried 2 times. I am now back home with my parents everyone wants me to live their life for them and I want to live my own life. I know the consequences. I could loose my girls and I don't want that? Help me figure out what is best. Confused.

Dear Confused, If you say that you could lose your 2 girls if you stay in this relationship, how could you be confused about what to do? You admit that you are afraid of him. You need to protect your girls and give them a chance to have normal and happy lives. What I hear you saying is that you are trying to decide between this man and your daughters. When he says he “hates the world”, he is as much as telling you that he cannot be trusted and needs to be alone. I am surprised your state authorities allow someone who is registered as a sex offender to live with you in the first place. Most states would not approve a parole residency plan for a person convicted of a sex offense, in a home with young children. You need to think about giving your girls “a chance” and let this man work his own issues out. Sorry about your miscarraiges. Best of luck.

Boyfriend likes it doggie style

Michael B, My situation is this, I met someone in prison and he has been paroled to live with me. I truly think he is doing great because he was away 14 years, however we have never went anywhere together other than the grocery store. I have never met his children or any of his family. We are intimate if that's what you want to call it, but we have never taken a shower together. I feel like I'm living with a good friend and that's fine, but I don't know if this is related to being institutionalized or he is just excluding me from his life. Because he pays bills, has met some of my family and in the house it's all good with just the two of us. For example, he brings home a movie or two and we have dinner/snack and watch T.V. That's okay, but I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and not assume he is just trying to get over. However, I'm just concerned because he lost his mom while in prison and since his release 2 years ago he has not shown me a picture of her. Also, he is meeting family members he doesn't know, but I'm not invited to come along. I respect the fact that he wants to get to know himself, but he has me asking questions about him that I don't want to try and figure out. I don't want to live a lie. I even question his sexuality, because he only wants to enter me from the back when we have sex. I don't want to throw him out, but I have to always think of myself and I am the mother of two boys. I want to give him time, but the way he is doing things hurt my feelings and I try expressing that to him and I don't know if he understands what I am saying or if he just doesn't care. Honestly, I am not in love with this man because based on what he has shown me I don't respect him. But, I am a kind person and if I can show him how to live again, then I have done my part, however I don't deserve to hurt. He went to prison at 21 yrs. old, so there is so much he doesn't know because he never lived with a woman. But, I don't want to make excuses for being used. He isn't disrespectful and shows affection like whenever he leaves for work he always gives me a kiss. I ‘m Lost in loving a man after prison. FR

Dear FR, His behavior may just be the natural after-effects of spending 21 years in prison. For example, the fact that he isn’t as romantic and intimate as you would like may certainly be the result of being away from woman so long. Maybe you will have to suggest taking a shower together. However, there seems to be more to it than that. The reason he doesn’t want to be seen in public with you sounds personal. You seem to have a lot of negative issues about this man - going so far as to question his sexuality. Sure, entering from back is something one could pick up in 21 years of prison, but you didn't say he doesn't have good aim. Maybe he just likes it doggie style. The key things you say are that you are not in love with this man and, more importantly, you don't respect him. Why are you with a man you don’t love or respect? You can fool yourself into staying in this relationship and continue to be hurt because you say you want to help him “learn how to live”. That means you are choosing his happiness over your own and your boys. Unfortunately, your situation is a classic example of what usually occurs when people who really don’t know one another get married. Best of luck.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Boyfriend Can't Get a Job

Hello, I'm a 23 year old, second year medical student. The father of my child (my boyfriend) was released from prison a little while ago. For the past couple of months he has been getting temporary jobs. He wants a permanent position with a company but does not know where to start because of his past criminal history. At times he get very discouraged and depressed. I'm trying to be a strong black woman and stand by his side for the sake of our child and because I love him so much. What can we do to make things better? I've read your books, but, I'm still kind of puzzled because his parole officer is not very helpful at all. She told him to go get a job at McDonald's and we both know that working minimum wage is not going to work for a 26 year old man. Please help I'm so confused.

Dear Confused, First, I want to congratulate you on succeeding into your second year of med school. Your personal growth and well being is what is utmost important in your life because whatever happens you have your future and the future of your baby to think about. Your boyfriend has to hang in and just keep doing the right things and eventually he will find that job he is looking for. It is normal for a man to get discouraged and depressed in the early days after release. He has to take it one day, one step at a time. McDonald's is not something he wants to do for the rest of his life and it is not going to pay the bills, but it may be the first step he has to take to get where he wants to be in the future. The po is probably pushing him to get a steady job because a requirement of his parole. He has to suck it up and do what he has to do to be at home with his family. You must be strong, but so must he. In the end he is going to make his own decisions and hopefully they will be the right ones. Below is the web address for the Employment Resource Handbook put out by the Bureau of Prisons. It has excellent information to help your boyfriend in his job and resources search. It is also free. Do Good. MB

http://www.bop.gov/inmate_programs/emp_info_handbk.pdf