Recently, one of our Prison Rideshare Network members sent us an email asking for specific ways to support people in prisons. So, we put together a list just for prison loved ones.
Looking for ways to support people in prison? These seven tips will help. Droves of people out there want to reach out to inmates in one way or another. But, they’re not sure where to start.
Some of these prison loved ones or potential sponsors have no access to prison advocacy groups or grassroot organizations that support people in prison. So, they must use their own means.
7 Ways to Support People in Prisons
Here are 7 ways you can be of help to prisoners where you have no direct access to advocacy organizations:
1. Support People in Prisons: Start a Correspondence with Inmates
Starting a correspondence or a kind of pen pal relationship with a couple of inmates may be the difference between despondence and sanity. Prison inmates live a very solitary and isolated existence, but initiating a correspondence with them will surely provide them with a new lease of life.
2. Support People in Prisons: Begin a Social Advocacy Campaign
Prison inmates will like it a lot when they are aware there is someone raising advocacy campaigns for them outside their cells. If you do not have the resources to start a physical pressure group, you could go online to use the social media to reveal what injustices inmates are going through behind the bars.
3. Support People in Prisons: Send Them Gifts
There are lots of gifts you could send to prison inmates to make life worth living to them. But you must enquire first to ensure that correctional officers do not reject these gifts and prevent them from reaching the intended recipients. Books would be most appreciated and stand a better chance of acceptance at prisons all over. Prisoners would be glad to read good books.
4. Support People in Prisons: Share News Bulletins
Are you aware that inmates are in a way cut off from the rest of the world? They don’t know what is happening right outside their prison walls, and would appreciate a good source of outside news. Send news bulletins such as newspapers, magazines, journals and clips to them.
5. Support People in Prisons: Be Part of a Call-In Campaign
Call-in campaigns exist to draw public attentions to what is happening inside prison walls. It publicizes injustices and abuses that flourish inside prison walls. It draws attention to the abuses and injustices of prison officials to inmates and vice-versa. Being part of a call-in campaign will help a lot to promote the causes of prison inmates everywhere.
6. Support People in Prisons: Stay Updated on Changing Laws
You need to be abreast with changing laws and new policies that may impact on prisoners and prison systems in your area. Being aware of what is happening in your area by way of proposed prison policies and laws would put you in a better position to help prison inmates.
7. Support People in Prisons: Raise Your Voice About Prison Issues
Start a conversation about prison issues and get the word out about what is happening inside prison walls. Talk about criminalization and how it starts with people and what the community can do to prevent criminal behaviors that can land people in prisons.
You can read more about what you can do to support prisoners on Waging Nonviolence, which reports:
“After reading Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow together, people in Kingston, N.Y., which has a population of 23,887, started the LGBTQ Task Force to Undo Mass Incarceration and Institutional Racism to connect issues of (racial) criminalization and mass incarceration with the historic criminalization of queer people and work towards ending both.”
Looking for more ways to support your loved one in prison? Visits are the best way to show your incarcerated family or friend just how much you care?
Need a carpool partner or ride to a specific prison? We can help. Join our network, and we’ll help you find prison transportation to the institution of your choice. And, it FREE!