Having a loved one in prison may fill you with concern about his or her well-being and ability to cope. You may desire to provide support, encouragement and comfort.
Your effort to show support can make a considerable difference in the type of experience your family member has. Targeted support may also improve the success of your family member’s reentry to society.
Isolation is one of the hardest realities for many inmates. Your loved one, like many others, may long for human interaction. Find out the requirements for visitation at the facility where your loved one resides. Try to establish a regular visitation routine. If extenuating circumstances prevent in-person visits, find creative ways to communicate regularly. Perhaps you have the option of calling and speaking with your family member during designated hours of the day.
You can also write letters. Sending letters is a great way to show your family member that you care. Within these letters, ask questions about your family member’s goals for the future. Ask about new programs or friendships. Regular communication with those in the outside world can sometimes develop into strong relationships. Rasmussen University says that finding a job is one of the biggest challenges for ex-cons. With a social network outside of prison, your loved one may have an easier time finding employment after his or her release.
Many prisons have educational opportunities or other activities that inmates can participate in. Such resources may encourage your loved one to establish or strengthen skills, develop friendships and discover new interests. Encourage your family member to participate in any opportunities available in the prison. You may also consider sending books or other approved items to provide enjoyable entertainment for your family member.
A mistake does not mean your loved one has no hope of a bright and successful future. Your ability to show your love and support from afar may help your family member to see the potential of his or her life.