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Prisoner's Family in Israel - Problems and Dilemmas

NCJ Number
INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL WORK Volume: 22 Issue: 2 Dated: (1979) Pages: 9-16
Y Hassin
Date Published
8 pages
Findings of this study based on inmate families in Israel point to the need to recognize welfare services and to focus these services on the specific problems of inmate families.
Three hypotheses, based on research findings abroad, were proposed in the study: (1) that inmate wives would depend upon their families and the families of their husband to a greater extent during the period of imprisonment, (2) that imprisonment would cause a steep reduction in the standard of living of inmates' wives and families of origin, and (3) that social workers of the prison would tend to treat the prisoner and his family. A total of 16 wives and 34 families of origin were interviewed and the interviews were conducted with the agreement of the inmates. Findings indicated that after the imprisonment, the relationship of wives to their families of origin changed for the worse in over half the cases. In addition, the dependency of wives on welfare services grew, after imprisonment, to 550 percent and the dependence of families also grew. Finally, 38 percent of inmate wives saw no prison social worker and 50 percent claimed that they saw the prison social worker only once, at the beginning of imprisonment. It is suggested that imprisonment creates problems of shame, economic difficulty, and family discipline for inmate families and points to family dependence on the services of the State. It is further suggested that welfare services be reorganized and directed to the specific problems of inmate families. Tabular data and footnotes are included. Ten references are given.