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Loving a Lifer For those whose loved one is serving a life sentence.

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  #1  
Old 06-14-2017, 02:55 PM
WaitingWilkes WaitingWilkes is offline
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Default Excellent article about coping with a life sentence

My wife's not technically a lifer because her sentence is "numbers instead of letters". Be that as it may, she's serving life. I found an excellent article titled "Mature Coping Among-Life Sentenced Inmates ~ An Exploratory Study of Adjustment Dynamics". The PDF is available at
https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/coping.pdf

My wife thought it made some good points. She keeps copies of it in the prison library. Lifers who've read it agree with her.

Frank
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:19 PM
smiles844 smiles844 is offline
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Thank you for sharing this..haven't read it in its entirety, but the first two pages were very insightful.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:55 AM
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Thank you for sharing this..haven't read it in its entirety, but the first two pages were very insightful.
My wife says it's the best article she's seen on the subject. If you send it to your LO please let me know what he thought about it so I can let my wife know.
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Old 06-29-2017, 04:32 PM
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This was a very interesting article. I found a great deal of similarity between the inmates interviewed and my husband who is on his 25th year of incarceration after having been convicted at 17. His life, and now mine, revolve around the routine and it works well for us so far. Thanks for sharing this!
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:33 PM
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Did it look to anybody else like a lot of the ideas would also help people with sentences shorter than life?
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:49 AM
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This was a very interesting article. I found a great deal of similarity between the inmates interviewed and my husband who is on his 25th year of incarceration after having been convicted at 17. His life, and now mine, revolve around the routine and it works well for us so far. Thanks for sharing this!
Thanks. I'll give your feedback to my wife. She's in her 23rd year. I think the prison experience is quite similar for most people doing lengthy or life sentences. Fighting the system doesn't work. Adapting to it does.
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:50 AM
WaitingWilkes WaitingWilkes is offline
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Did it look to anybody else like a lot of the ideas would also help people with sentences shorter than life?
I think everyone serving sentences inside or out would get something out of it.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:37 AM
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Thanks Wilkes for posting this article and I have sent a copy to my LO. My loved one is not a lifer, but she is faced with long term supervision and she will leave behind at least two people that she cares about who will likely never leave prison. My LO has also taken on many of the characteristics of those in this article. Many of those around her are grasping for anything they can to make the time go easier, but the things they get into end up having the opposite effect.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:12 AM
WaitingWilkes WaitingWilkes is offline
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Thanks Wilkes for posting this article and I have sent a copy to my LO. My loved one is not a lifer, but she is faced with long term supervision and she will leave behind at least two people that she cares about who will likely never leave prison. My LO has also taken on many of the characteristics of those in this article. Many of those around her are grasping for anything they can to make the time go easier, but the things they get into end up having the opposite effect.
Thanks for letting me know you found it relevant. 10 or 20 years isn't "life" but it is a significant percentage of a lifespan. From what Tammy has said I think the trick is to live inside the system without surrendering to being institutionalized.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:30 AM
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It's strange, but I guess the choice to submit is still a choice.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:33 AM
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It's strange, but I guess the choice to submit is still a choice.
Japanese society is extremely conformist. They have a saying. "The nail that sticks up above the rest gets hammered down." Prison's pretty similar.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:16 AM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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>the trick is to live inside the system without surrendering to being institutionalized.

You also chose the word "adapt" instead of "submit".

Tell me if I'm reading this right. The lifers neither rebel nor submit? They get up every morning and tell themselves "Today I choose to keep my yard and phone privileges, the price tag on that is to follow strict rules and to keep my temper no matter what, and today I choose to pay what's on the price tag to make the purchase"? Making that choice again with every new day?

WaitingWilkes, this is offtopic and the moderators may delete it, but I don't think I've ever said that the pointless cruelty of your wife's sentence offends me.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:18 PM
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>
You also chose the word "adapt" instead of "submit".

I don't know, at some point it might be a distinction without a difference. You are making a decision to conform to something no matter what. The "purchasing" model breaks down if the privileges you are trying to "buy" by behavior can't be counted on.

I don't know, I will talk to my loved one on the 4th and see what she thinks.
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Old 06-30-2017, 03:12 PM
WaitingWilkes WaitingWilkes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minor activist View Post
>the trick is to live inside the system without surrendering to being institutionalized.

You also chose the word "adapt" instead of "submit".

Tell me if I'm reading this right. The lifers neither rebel nor submit? They get up every morning and tell themselves "Today I choose to keep my yard and phone privileges, the price tag on that is to follow strict rules and to keep my temper no matter what, and today I choose to pay what's on the price tag to make the purchase"? Making that choice again with every new day?

WaitingWilkes, this is offtopic and the moderators may delete it, but I don't think I've ever said that the pointless cruelty of your wife's sentence offends me.
My wife copes by keeping busy, avoiding politics and people with chips on their shoulders and following rules. I don't think her approach qualifies as submission any more than doing likewise in the Free World does. I keep busy. I stay away from potentially dangerous places like bars and strip clubs near closing time. I obey laws. I can lose my privilege to drive if I ignore traffic laws. I can be broken financially and lose my freedom if I evade federal taxes.

Pardon me for paraphrasing your comment. I do get up every morning and tell myself, "Today I choose to keep my driving privileges. The price tag is following strict traffic rules even if they frustrate me to death and make me late. I'll keep my temper no matter how many boneheaded idiots I may have to deal with because a scrape with the law could cost me my job and the privilege of visiting my own wife. Today I choose to pay what's on the price tag to make the purchase by paying taxes, following security classification rules, obeying laws, etc.". I make that choice every new day, like every citizen should. I'm pretty sure you make the same sorts choices. We all have to go along to get along, inside or out.

Thank you for your comment about my wife's sentence. I doubt any moderators who are familiar with us would take issues with it.

How's that leg?
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:10 PM
Minor activist Minor activist is offline
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Leg? You must be thinking of someone else: my latest health problem was my lower back going out.

That was pretty insightful about free-world decision making.
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Old 06-30-2017, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaitingWilkes View Post
My wife's not technically a lifer because her sentence is "numbers instead of letters". Be that as it may, she's serving life. I found an excellent article titled "Mature Coping Among-Life Sentenced Inmates ~ An Exploratory Study of Adjustment Dynamics". The PDF is available at

My wife thought it made some good points. She keeps copies of it in the prison library. Lifers who've read it agree with her.

Frank
That was a solid article, and oddly inspiring. I say oddly only because you'd think it would be depressing, given the subject matter. But no, it left me hopeful!
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by K6770 View Post
I don't know, at some point it might be a distinction without a difference. You are making a decision to conform to something no matter what. The "purchasing" model breaks down if the privileges you are trying to "buy" by behavior can't be counted on.

I don't know, I will talk to my loved one on the 4th and see what she thinks.
Please share what she says.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:59 AM
WaitingWilkes WaitingWilkes is offline
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Leg? You must be thinking of someone else: my latest health problem was my lower back going out.

That was pretty insightful about free-world decision making.
I apologize for confusing you with another member. Back problems are awful. I hope you feel better soon.

Thanks for your comment about free-world decision making. We aren't nearly as free as we think we are. Our range of choices is often limited to "do it or else".
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Old 07-01-2017, 08:02 AM
WaitingWilkes WaitingWilkes is offline
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That was a solid article, and oddly inspiring. I say oddly only because you'd think it would be depressing, given the subject matter. But no, it left me hopeful!
The bottom line is, "Where there's life, there's hope". The trick is knowing what to hope for and accepting it as sufficient when it arrives.
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Old 07-02-2017, 04:09 AM
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I found this really informative!! Thanks for sharing!!
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