Having a loved one, especially a husband, or partner in prison can be a devastating and lonely experience. Loss of financial help, parenting help and societal stigmas can be extremely difficult to deal with.
Prisoners' Wives, Girlfriends and Partners (PWGP) was founded in 2009 by Reesy-Floyd Thompson, a wife of an incarcerated prisoner. Her life was shattered when her husband was sentenced to prison. She had no where to turn to for support on how ways to deal with the grief, loneliness and isolation that she felt.
Reesy decided to begin her own support group that began as "The Prisoners Wife Club" and today is called Prisoners' Wives, Girlfriends and Partners. The main mission of the PWGP is to provide immediate and continued support to partners of incarcerated prisoners.
Living your life when your partner is locked up means knowing what you can and can not control and making the most of it.
One of the main goals of PWGP is to thy and eliminate or reduce the stigma that is placed on incarcerated prisoners. In addition to support groups, PWGP offers one-on-one peer support through it's mentoring program, titled Support, Encourage and Educate. Since its inception, PWGP’s positive message has resonated with thousands seeking a sense of normalcy and camaraderie. It promotes positive images of persons with an incarcerated partner dispelling myths and stereotypes. PWGP’s focus is on healthy relationships with one goal in mind—keeping families together. PWGP continues to develop programs to enhance and enrich the lives of persons with an incarcerated partner.
PWGP believes that healthy relationships through education, communication, support and faith not only help partners in reunification, but also strongly believe that keeping relationships and families together greatly reduces the chances for recidivism.
Four strong points are emphasized when your partner is locked up:
Take Care of Your Home - take care of finances, budgets, and keeping the children healthy and connected.
Take Care of You - you must take care of yourself in order to be able to care of anyone else. Stay healthy and seek support.
Take Care of Him - one of his biggest fears is losing you. Make sure that lines of communication stay open and that he stays connected to the family.
Take Care of the Relationship - nurture the relationship. Communicate your desires and needs - communication is key!
PWGP has many chapters nationwide that offer support. Monthly meetings are a great place to share your struggles and triumphs in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Please read more here if you would like to know more about PWGP and to attend a meeting.