The reality has sunk in, your loved one is in prison. Regardless of the reason, it may feel like your whole world is turned upside down; without a doubt theirs is. As you are navigating what is perhaps one of the most difficult moments in your life, we put together some suggestions to help keep your family intact.
Keep in Communication – Stay in contact, and often. Your loved one needs to hear from their family now more than ever. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay in contact. Here are a few ways to stay in contact with your loved one while they are incarcerated.
- Video Calls: Most every facility now has the capability of hosting video calls with loved ones. Contact your loved one or their case manager to see what technologies are available.
- Phone Calls: Every facility has the opportunity to make ingoing and outgoing phone calls. Phone calls are a really good way to stay connected with each other. It may be ideal to set a certain time of day or day of the week that you are home or available to receive a call. If possible, keep your family in the loop about these times in order to get them on the call too.
- Letters: An age-old form of communication, it is one of the best ways to express your thoughts. It not only allows for thoughtful worlds to be expressed, it allows for them to be saved to be read and reread again. Send your loved one stamps and envelopes to allow for ongoing flow of correspondence. Read more about writing letters here.
Take Care of Their Family – The pain of incarceration has a ripple effect on those they know, often affecting people in untold ways. Caring for a loved one’s family on the outside is a great benefit to them as well. From emotional support, to helping them with chores and other tasks that may be abandoned in their absence.
Plan a Family Visit – One of the very best ways to stay truly connected is to visit them. There is nothing like holding their hand and talking to them face-to-face. Plan to make regular visits, taking time to share a meal together, catch up on what is going on, or discuss important things together. If possible, make it a family occasion. It will mean the world to your loved one. For more info on planning your visit, read this article.
Empower Them – Many facilities offer higher learning opportunities. One way you can help them is to empower them to take time to learn while they are incarcerated. From vocational training, to college degrees, many institutions are making an effort to provide these resources to help with their re-entry at a very low cost to the individual. For more on this, read this article.
Send Resources – From books, to snacks, money and clothes, there are many ways to show you care about them and their welfare. These gifts shouldn’t be a burden on you, but giving small gifts will mean so much to them. Providing gifts will need to be approved by the facility they are at, so be sure to check with them or the state’s contraband laws.
Don’t Lose Hope – Hope is a powerful motivator. Without hope, it is hard to meet the challenges of incarceration head on. Whenever you are in communication, stay positive and hopeful, making an effort to encourage them. When you are absent from them, make an effort to stay positive as well, not allowing discouragement to have its day.
Whether you just received the call your loved one is going to prison or have been navigating it for years, we hope these resources will help you and your family grow together. Despite the challenges that arise, you and your family can make it through this challenge. For more resources, check out this weekly blog or visit tyro365.com.