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Posted By Emre Umar

There are more than 2 million inmates in the United States’ prison system. Some inmates are incarcerated while awaiting trial, others are only there 6 to 18 months, while others are going to be in prison for the remainder of their lives. With so many people in the prison system, there are times that some inmates might fall through the cracks and abuse of your loved one might not be recognized early or even at all. There are signs and symptoms that could be telling to you without your loved one saying a word.

Depending on the type of abuse occurring (physical, sexual, psychological, financial, etc.), your loved might be acting strangely. General signs and symptoms to look for are:

  • Change in their normal behavior and/or personality
  • Inability to make choices and decisions
  • Feels of depression
  • Withdrawn
  • Bruising in unusual sites, like inner arms and thighs
  • Passive behavior
  • Overt sexual behavior or language
  • Change in appetite, which may lead to weight gain or loss
  • Low self-esteem

However, it is important to remember that your love one’s time in prison is a big factor in unusual behavior. There is an adjustment period for an inmate that has been recently incarcerated. The adjustment period can depend on person, if they have already been in prison or in a lifestyle involving a youth detention center or a previous locks up in county jail, they will likely adjust easier than a person who has never been near a prison. Someone who is new to the prison system could be feeling a great deal of stress. It also depends on their sentence, it is easier to adjust knowing that you will only been there for 1-5 years, compared to being in there for the rest of your life. Be mindful of this time period when worrying about your loved one.

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