ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Ways to Support a Loved One in Prison

Updated on March 13, 2018
Show up for your loved one.
Show up for your loved one. | Source

Regardless of how minor or serious the charge against a person may be, going to jail is a hugely stressful experience. I have seen it happen. A good chunk of this stress stems from personal issues like losing contact with family and friends. And as if that’s not bad enough, there’s a certain kind of pressure that comes with learning and understanding the legal system. Luckily, it’s nothing our loved ones can’t help fix.

If you have a loved one behind bars, here are 5 simple ways to support them.

➀ Visit them often.

While visiting a loved one in prison can be an emotionally difficult experience, it can also be a key step in helping them cope with the situation better. Not only are you helping ease the loneliness they must be feeling, you are also slowly helping them feel less of a stranger, which does happen when inmates return home. Jails keep established visiting hours, as well as a few rules and conditions—so make sure to know and obey all of them. Some of these include:

  • Calling ahead to schedule a visit
  • Providing your loved one’s booking number
  • Arriving on the right day and at the right time and place
  • Bringing an ID and complying with the dress code
  • Following jail rules on drugs and going through the search process

➁ Take their calls or write them letters.

You may be living too far away from the jail or life may get too hectic to make regular visits a realistic goal. If that is the case, regular phone calls or writing and sending letters can help your loved one feel supported.

  • Answer their calls: There is personal discomfort that comes with this: you don’t want awkward silences, and you sure don’t want to say the wrong thing—and so you avoid the call. But realise that you and your loved one are both human, and you both have experiences to share. They want to exchange stories (and maybe a few jokes, too), and they want to continue being in your life. So, pick up the phone. Depending on the facility, there is a designated time for when your loved one can make a call. Inmates submit a list of phone numbers shortly after they are admitted, so make sure your number is on theirs.
  • Write them letters: Keep them updated with what’s going on in your life. Tell them about day-to-day happenings in school or at work. Send them lovely photos or funny comic strips—or even word games to engage their brain. They can share your little moments of joy, so don’t hold back.
  • Keep them updated on legal matters. They may sometimes feel out of the loop, so check in regularly with the lawyer and pass updates along. This will help so much in easing the strain of their jail stay.

➂ Give them books.

I know this sounds so simple but books have proven to be a sanity-saver for many people behind bars. Books allow their minds to transcend the walls of their prison cells and briefly escape their current reality. While most facilities do not allow family and friends to send books directly from their homes, many allow books from bookstores and vendors like Amazon.

➃ Send them monetary resources.

Inmates often need money for their basic necessities such as food and medical care, and other essentials like phone time and writing supplies. There’s a number of ways to send funds; however, different facilities have different regulations or restrictions, so make sure to follow the correct procedures. And while you are at it, it’s imperative that you find out how much your loved one really needs—not enough, and they could cut out some needs; too much, and they could become a target for other inmates.

➄ Help them make bail.

If your loved one didn’t commit a serious crime and isn’t considered a danger to the community, then you can help them secure their temporary release through bail. If you don’t have sufficient financial resources, then your best bet is to pay for a bail bond. Get them to show up to all of their court appearances, and can be sure to get all the bail money back. It may seem daunting but with a good understanding of how bail bonds work, you can get your loved one out of jail in no time.

Help them keep the stress to a bare minimum.
Help them keep the stress to a bare minimum.

They need you.

While supporting a loved one behind bars is challenging for many, putting in the effort to maintain a positive relationship can make a world of difference in such a difficult time. You are their lifeline. Help them see how they can change.

This sure isn't an exhaustive list but I hope it's enough to get you started. Feel free to add other suggestions below.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)