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How to prepare for prison

visit to a prison

Preparing you or a loved one for going to prison is no easy thing. Nothing can truly prepare you for what you are about to face.The sights, sounds, smells, and culture shift is like walking into another world. Preparing for prison can be a daunting and challenging task, but it’s essential to approach it with a practical mindset.  The moment you step foot into a prison, it may feel like an out of body experience. This is why it is crucial to prepare yourself for this experience. Here are some steps you can take to prepare:

Understand the Rules and Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the prison you’ll be entering. Each facility may have its own set of guidelines regarding visitation, mail, phone calls, and other aspects of daily life. For more about rules, read this article

Legal Assistance: If you haven’t already, seek legal counsel. A lawyer can advise you on your rights and help you navigate the legal process. For more info on seeking pro bono counsel, read this article

Arrange Personal Affairs: Take care of any outstanding personal affairs, such as paying bills, making arrangements for dependents, and addressing any legal or financial matters. This is especially important if you have family waiting for you when you get home.


Mental and Emotional Preparation: Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the challenges ahead. Understand that it’s okay to feel scared or anxious, but try to focus on staying calm and resilient.

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Physical Health: Prioritize your physical health by eating well, exercising regularly, and addressing any medical concerns before entering prison. Access to healthcare may be limited once you’re inside.

Build Support Networks: Maintain communication with friends and family members who can offer support during your time in prison. Having a strong support system can make a significant difference in your well-being.

Educational and Vocational Programs: Take advantage of any educational or vocational programs available in the prison. These can help you acquire new skills, further your education, and prepare for life after release.

Stay out of Trouble: Avoid getting into any trouble leading up to your incarceration. Additional legal issues can complicate your situation and potentially lead to harsher penalties.

Personal Safety: Learn about strategies for staying safe while incarcerated, such as avoiding conflicts, respecting others’ boundaries, and knowing when to seek help from prison staff.

Plan for Reentry: Begin thinking about your reentry into society early on. Consider what resources and support you’ll need to successfully reintegrate into your community upon release.

Nothing can fully prepare you for the challenge you are about to face. Remember that everyone’s experience with prison is different, so it’s vital to take these suggestions and apply them to your own experience. Regardless of your story, everyone who is about to go to prison needs to prepare themselves, both emotionally and physically. 

As you are bracing yourself for a prison experience, it’s important to seek guidance from individuals who have been through similar experiences as yourself.  A solid support group can provide valuable insights and support that will allow you to be prepared to adjust to the challenges that come with it. At TYRO, we believe that prison doesn’t have to define a person, don’t allow this experience to keep you from becoming the person, leader, mentor, parent you are meant to be.