Grief, Loss, and Treatment for Death Row Families

By Sandra Joy, on 5 December 2013

Murder Victims' Families

The families of death row inmates are rarely considered in public discourse regarding the death penalty. They have largely been forgotten, and their pain has not been acknowledged by the rest of society. These families experience a unique grief process as they are confronted with the loss of their loved one to death row and brace themselves for the possibility of an execution. Death row families are disenfranchised from their grief by the surrounding community, and their; mental health needs exacerbated as they struggle in isolation with the ambiguous loss that comes with the fear that the state will kill their loved one.

Grief, Loss, and Treatment for Death Row Families describes the grief that families experience from the time of their loved one’s arrest through his or her execution. In each chapter, Sandra Joy guides the reader through the grief process experienced by the families, offering clinical interventions that can be used by mental health professionals who are given the opportunity to work with these families at various stages of their grief. The author conducted over seventy qualitative interviews with family members from Delaware who either currently have a loved one on death row or have survived the execution of their loved one. Delaware was chosen because though it has a relatively small death row, it is ranked third in the nation with its rate of per capita executions. This book provides an in-depth awareness of the grieving process of death row families, as well as ways that professionals can intervene to assist them in healing. With increased awareness and effective clinical treatment, we can ensure that the families of death row inmates are forgotten no more.

  • Document type Book
  • Themes list Murder Victims' Families