Supporting a family member or loved one who is in jail can be a difficult task. It can feel overwhelming to consider all the possible ways to help—from staying in communication to advocating for compassion and fairness from authorities to finding necessary resources such as legal aid. The best way to start is always by offering emotional support; being available and willing to listen can go a long way.
For family and friends of someone currently incarcerated, there are many ways to provide assistance and support. Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep in touch: Staying in contact with your loved one is essential for moral support. Writing letters, making phone calls, and even sending cards or care packages are all great ways to maintain communication. If your loved one is in a facility far away, consider visiting if possible.
- Offer financial assistance: Money is always a concern for incarcerated individuals, as they often cannot financially support themselves while in prison. If you can, provide financial support to help with basic needs and comforts. Some everyday needs you can support include phone bills, legal fees, and money for personal items or classes.
- Provide emotional support: Spending time in prison can be extremely isolating. However, you can provide a sense of comfort to your incarcerated friend or family member by letting them know you care about them and are there for them. For example, you can offer a listening ear, share words of encouragement and help them stay connected to their family and friends on the outside.
- Ensure access to necessary materials: Depending on the facility, prisons may not always provide incarcerated individuals with all of the necessary materials they need. Consider sending books, magazines, or writing materials that can help pass the time. Select topics that can be beneficial, such as self-help or educational materials.
- Utilize outside resources: There are many non-profit organizations and other resources available that can help provide support to incarcerated individuals. Do some research online or contact a local prison organization for assistance. Identify what is explicitly challenging the individual and look for solutions, such as legal aid or educational programs.
- Stay informed: Staying up to date on the latest news and changes in the legal system can help you better understand your loved one’s situation. This can also help you stay informed about potential parole hearings or other opportunities for release.
- Advocate for your loved one: In some cases, you may be able to advocate on behalf of your friend or family member. Speak to their parole board or write letters to the judge. If a sentence is unjust, you may be able to make an argument for leniency or release.
- Help with the transition: Upon their release, it is important to provide assistance and support as they transition back into everyday life. Offer financial help or assistance with finding a job. Most importantly, provide emotional support as they adjust to life outside of prison.
- Point them in the right direction: Several resources are available to help people who have been released from prison. Consider pointing your loved one in the right direction and providing them with helpful information about education programs, job training, counseling services, and other essential resources.
- Encourage educational opportunities: Helping your loved one to further their education can help them find employment after release. Research college programs or other options for educational advancement during their time in prison.
By providing assistance and support, you can help make sure that your loved one has the best chance of success upon their release. With your help, they can start rebuilding their lives and making a better future for themselves.
What Does Reentry Lifeskills Offer?
Reentry Lifeskills can be an invaluable asset for those incarcerated. People in jail or prison often have time to reflect and become more self-aware, making these courses incredibly helpful in finding potential causes of their incarceration and strategies for bettering themselves once they reenter society. The courses, written in a story format, provide real-life accounts of individuals overcoming obstacles and achieving success. Along with inspiring stories, the course offers reliable tips and techniques that can help anyone become more socially and emotionally balanced – allowing them to reach their full potential. Ultimately, the goal is for participants to gain new skills and experiences that lead to a fulfilling post-incarceration life.
Incarcerated Individuals Are People Who Matter
Referring to people in prison as “incarcerated individuals” is a subtle but important step towards more respectful and compassionate treatment of these individuals. By using this term, we are acknowledging that they are more than just prisoners, inmates, or criminals; they are human beings with inherent rights and should be treated as such. This shift in language moves away from seeing them only as criminals who need to be punished and instead sees them as individuals with the capacity to reform and start new chapters in their lives. As society evolves and we become more conscious of our language choices and their implications, referring to incarcerated individuals is an important way to recognize the humanity of those living behind bars.
Some tips for showing respect and compassion to an incarcerated individual are to use their name, listen attentively without judgment, offer words of encouragement when appropriate, and be patient and understanding. People in prison often feel forgotten or invisible, so even small gestures of kindness can go a long way. It is also important to remember that these individuals are more than their criminal history and to provide support in whatever way you can.
Contact Reentry Lifeskills Today
Reentry Lifeskills can provide individuals in prison with the skills and tools necessary to facilitate successful reintegration into society. Our program offers the help and guidance needed to build a solid foundation for a better life.
Everyone deserves a chance to turn their life around and become productive members of society. With the right support and resources, they can make their dreams a reality. Together we can break down barriers to success, reduce recidivism, and foster healthier communities. Let us be part of the solution. Contact Reentry Lifeskills to learn more.