So watching a loved one keep lying to themselves about how all their sorrows are the fault of others, about how a little (insert addition here) won't hurt that much and if it does it will be only hurt the person indulging in the addition, about how no one else can ever understand their bad luck, is stunningly painful.
So this verse from 2 Corinthians 1, verse 7 speaks to me: Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.
No human person can truly know the heart or pain of another, but God does. No human person can heal for another, or even, I believe, for themselves, but God offers healing right here, right now for each and all of us. I believe that God makes us new by the Spirit of God as we grow in faith--be it baby steps or leaps and bounds.
Those we love who are incarcerated and/or trapped in criminal thinking have a journey to restoration, renewal and hope. We who love them also have a journey to restoration, renewal and hope. They are not to be confused to be the same journey, but they are intertwined. This dance of sorrow and hope ties our hearts together so when one steps forward or slips back it affects the other. While we cannot (and should work hard to not attempt to) control or define the journey of another, we can inspire hope with every step forward WE take.
We both suffer, but also we are each and both consoled, healed, tended, taught, and loved by God. Claim God's consolation in your own life, that your light of hope and healing might shine into the lives of those we love.