Living Outside the Bars: Lived Experiences of Family Members of Offenders in Baguio and Benguet, Philippines

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Kreanjel Lei B. Guinto Chelsea Mae G. Kim Guerly Joy L. Bab-ating Lawrence C. Caranto


This study was conducted to explore the lived experiences of family members of offenders to provide insight and develop an effective and appropriate intervention in dealing with them, which in turn could help enhance family care in the nursing practice. The phenomenological type of descriptive qualitative research design was applied in this study. Data were gathered from five (5) family members of offenders in Baguio City and Benguet from January 19, 2018 to March 6, 2018 using triangulation method. Observation and individual interviews were employed with the participants. To analyze the data gathered, Colaizzi’s Seven Steps of Phenomenology was applied. The major findings are: (1) the incarceration was kept secret momentarily to underage family members; (2) the participants presented their own perspectives on the offender and whether they expected the crime to happen or not; (3) the incident affected their relationships within the family and others; and (4) the participants showed positive attitudes towards coping like acceptance and moving on. Based on the findings, the following conclusions were derived: (1) incarceration is deemed negative by society which prompted the hiding of the incident from the children; (2) incarceration can happen to anyone regardless of stature in life (3) stigma is truly present in the society which affects a person’s relationship with others, including his family; and (4) a person is able to adapt to changes caused by dramatic events and move on with the help of external support and positive thinking.

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