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Posted By Emre Umar

It has never been easy for anyone to watch a person they love go to prison. It is very important to plan what will happen in the beginning stages of this transition in your loved one’s life, as well as your own.

  • Make a schedule. You and your loved one will need to know how often you will visit your loved one, talk on the telephone and write letters. It’s important for your loved one to know how much they will hear from you so they are able to still feel connected to you, you may be their only source of support while incarcerated. It is also important for you to make this schedule and stick to it so you are not trying to give more than you are capable of.
  • Find your own support system. While the incarcerated individual is the one away from home, remember this will be a challenging time for you as well. Family and friends can be a great support system but if that is not an option, there are many support groups made up of individuals in your position.
  • Decide how much financial support you will be giving to your loved one while they are incarcerated, if any at all. Be sure to keep your own budget in mind and do not put yourself in a position to struggle because of this. They will have the necessities they need whether you offer your financial support or not.
  • Continue your life. You were not the one incarcerated so you must go to your job, pay your bills, take care of your children, etc. Keeping busy can be a great way to take your mind off the situation for a little while.
  • Be understanding. This a big change in your lives, your loved one especially. There may be times when they act harshly or out of character, try to be compassionate and know that they must be fearful of losing a connection with you and the world outside. 45% of inmates lose contact with their loved ones while incarcerated so for many, this is a huge fear.

Incarceration of a loved one can be a tough time but it can be made easier if you have things from the above list settled and understand what is going to happen during this period in your lives. Remember, your loved one will appreciate any support you are able to offer. 

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