The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with those you love.
For many, its the opportunity to drive or fly across the country to spend time with family and friends. Although the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, It’s not always the case for those who are incarcerated. For the 2 million men and women who are incarcerated in the United States, it can be a challenging time, especially in the holiday season.
There are few greater gifts you can give a loved one in prison than quality time. As you get ready to visit your loved one in prison, it’s crucial to formulate a plan. Planning your trip means you are creating the best experience in the visiting room. As you are planning to visit your loved one in prison, keeps these things in mind.
Planning your Visit
A visit over the holidays shows your loved one you not only care about them but are investing in their lives. Making preparations for your visit is a crucial part of the success. For more tips to prepare for your visit, read this.
Call the Prison First
If this is your first time visiting them in a while, it’s a good idea to check in with the institution. In fact, most prisons have their rules, requirements, visiting hours and accommodations posted online. Take the time to check on these before you go for your visit.
What to Wear
It may not be the first thing you think of, but choosing what to wear when you go into a prison visiting room is important. Wearing indecent clothing may result in you not being allowed to enter. Most prisons have a list for visitors to reference so they can dress appropriately. Click here to see more about prison dress codes.
Set Your Expectations
While it’s important to be excited to visit your loved one in prison, it’s important to set your expectations appropriately. If you compare your visit to an average holiday family reunion, you may be disappointed. Preparing yourself for the environment itself will help you and your family to have the best experience. You can prepare yourself in advance for everything from the dynamics of the room to the meal, conversation, and greeting.
Plan the Event
Although it may not feel like a typical family get-together, there are a variety of things you can do to set the environment and create a holiday experience. If you are taking your family, it can be fun to create some letters, artwork or a planned holiday activity. What you can take to a visiting room will be limited. Be sure to check with your states Department Of Corrections (DOC) and your specific location.
Prison visits are an important moment in the life of someone who is incarcerated. For some, it may not be easy to visit your loved one in prison. It’s important to acknowledge this and make plans around both of your schedules. Whether you are visiting by yourself or with a family, it’s important to plan your next trip and talk about the best way to stay connected.
The holidays are what you make of them. More than ever, your loved one in prison needs your support and encouragement. Thus, don’t let the stress of the holiday season and the barriers of navigating a visit stop you and your family from connecting this holiday season.