One of the most difficult things for families with a loved one in prison is staying connected. This is one of the most important things for any prison relationship. Whether it’s a child, parent, spouse or friend, staying in touch will require more intentionality than ever before. Not only will it mean more effort, but it will also require more creative ways to communicate. We may take for granted the most common forms of communication. Those who are incarcerated are very much aware of the challenges of communication.
Why does staying in touch even matter?
When the four walls of a prison separate you from your loved one, it can be easy to forget how they are doing. Because it can be more challenging to check in with them means staying in touch means more than ever. Practicing purposeful, intentional and meaningful interactions can make all the difference in their day.
How can you stay in touch?
Letters – Letters are one of the best ways to stay in contact. Not only can a letter be re-read, they offer the opportunity for intentional thought and expression. Writing letters is something of a lost form on communication that may require time to re-learn. But it can be one of the most fulfilling over time. In fact, your letter will carry your family until the next time you see them. Sharing your thoughts, emotions, and goings on can be hard to fit in a short phone call. Writing a letter can be a very practical way to keep in touch. Practice asking thoughtful questions about them and offer encouragement and keep them up to date on family news. For those in a relationship, keep in mind that letters are filtered by the institution so keep it modest. Read more about writing letters.
“Your letter will carry your family until the next time you see them.” – Ron Tijerina
Phone Calls – Phone calls are a great way to stay connected. Although talking on the phone may not be everyone’s favorite way to communicate it can be one of the most natural ways to keep in touch with your loved one in prison. To help build consistency, plan on weekly or monthly phone calls. Be sure to pick a time that will work for both your schedules. Read more about phone calls.
Visits – Visits are one of the most special moments for your loved one. Not only are you about able to connect in-person, but you can connect in ways otherwise seemingly impossible. For more about visits, read this article.
Emails – Almost all prisons in the United States allow for email correspondence. This is a practical way to stay in touch with your loved one. For more information, reach out to your loved one in prison to see what is available in their location.
Video calls – Another special way to connect is video calls. These video calls will allow for a more visceral experience. Although this resource may not be available everywhere, it is a growing resource. Be sure to reach to see if it is available where they are located.
Staying in touch is a two-way street. Your family is counting on you to stay connected. Every interaction with your loved one is a special opportunity to connect with them. This can be challenging because many of the common ways we connect with each other may not be available. This is even more reason to exercise intentionality in your communication and show your loved one you are thinking and care for them.
We are so glad you found this blog. We hope to be a resource and tool on your re-entry journey. To learn more about this watch the full video on YouTube channel, TYRO TV or visit our website, tyro365.com.