A mother reports her son to the police for possession of Class A drugs and he serves 18 month sentence!
Following on from the Julie Myerson story I reported on yesterday, it seems another mother has taken the tough love approach. This time Susan Gale is confident that she has done the right thing. Her son and ex partner, however, are not talking to her. Tragically Susan seems to think that this spell in prison will help him come off drugs. tragically, anyone who has any experience of the criminal justice system will tell her that there is very little care and reform in prisons. Most of the addicts I have met who have had custodial sentences, have said it was far easier to get drugs in the prisons than it was on the street and there is a suspicion that the authorities feel that the drugs at least keep the prisoners quiet. There are one or two services to help prisoner, such as the excellent Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust, and I have visited some self help groups in prisons, but the funding for services is pitiful and largely represents a token gesture. While studying a module on Psychology and Law at University I came to the conclusion that prisons were being used as a cheap form of mental health as they could keep ill people away from the rest of society at a fraction of the cost of actually treating their problems.
The sad truth is that, in the absence of any other services to help in a practical way, or education about these sorts of problems and how to help, another family has been even further damaged, and the problem is more than likely even more entrenched.
It seems again and again that families are hearing about “Tough Love” and implementing the Tough” without investigating the “Love” or maybe they think it means you have to be tough to show your love? Either way this is a complete travesty of the process that can and should be happening to get help to people who need it.