Visiting a imprisoned loved one makes all the difference during their prison sentence. Learn how to give them the Christmas gift of a perfect visit this year.
Christmas is a complicated time of the year. It gets even more complicated if you have an incarcerated loved one. The complications are mostly brought about by the strict visitation rules and the very many emotions you go through during the holiday visit.
Prison visits with incarcerated family and friends may spark up previous conflicts and end up in disputes. But, there is also a chance that the visit could go well and that the family ties could be tightened.
All you need is to create the atmosphere for the perfect prison visit.
The Perfect Prison Visit
If you are planning to go visit your loved one in prison this Christmas, here are some tips to make the holiday visit less complicated. Follow them and you’ll be certain to have a great Christmas during your perfect prison visit.
What do You Need for a Prison Visit?
Ensure you understand all the visitation rules of the facility before making the trip. Different departments have different rules.
Some of them have their rules online and others may send them to you directly. Ensure you have them and have gone through them before your visit.
You can also find resources on social media sites. Groups such as Facebook’s PRN and Avenal State Prison are excellent resources. The members of both groups are eager and quick to answer any questions you may have about visiting prisons.
Lay most emphasis on:
- Things you can bring with you and things you cannot bring into the facility
- The forms of ID required
- How many people are allowed to visit the inmate at one time
If you intend to bring children, ensure you have gone through the security procedures to know if they will be allowed to have physical contact. Doing this before the visit will help you know what to expect during the visit.
It is also good to make sure everyone that needs to be on the visiting list is on it.
Getting Ready for Your Prison Visit
Most families live approximately 100 miles or more away from the prison facilities. Planning ahead before the visit will make it run smoothly.
You can start by asking your employer for time off. Then proceed to get your finances in check. Whether it is money for a prison call or for traveling to the prison. You can also look up organizations that offer reduced cost, free or shared rides to the prisons.
What to Plan for When Visiting a Loved One in Prison
It is important to have a plan especially if many of you will be making the visit. You should have a plan of who will go in first and how the rest will follow each other. Know how much time each group will have with their loved ones.
Let the young ones go first because they tend to be highly inpatient. Then after they are done, get them an activity to do to avoid them getting bored. As a family, you can also decide to do a Christmas story reading together or pray together.
Staying Organized During Your Christmas Visit
Come up with a set of ground rules to keep the visit on track. Some rules may include:
- How much time each group will have with their loved ones in case you are many
- Agreeing to be kind to one another
- Letting one share their emotions freely
- Steering away from topics that may be sore points for anyone in the visit
You can look up other rules online to know what you need to set straight. This will help ensure the visit runs smoothly.
Staying in Touch with Your Incarcerated Loved One
Research has proven that staying in touch with your loved one behind bars is really beneficially to them in their rehabilitation. The research also shows that it is beneficial to the family members as well as it helps to tighten the family ties.
Because staying in contact with them has a number of benefits, you should come up with ways to ensure the bonds remain strengthened year in year out. For example, if you are a guardian to children below the age of 18 that have an incarcerated parent, you can ask the incarcerated parent to sign them up to Angel Tree.
Angel Tree is an organization that allows for incarcerated parents to sign up their children. Then their children will receive Christmas gifts in their name.
Visiting an incarcerated loved one can spark up a lot of emotions. You may go there with really high expectations only to get disappointed. There is nothing normal about a prison visit.
It is okay for you, your incarcerated loved one and your children to get worked up about the visit. Your children may cry and ask to leave early. Older children may become withdrawn and go silent or give one-word answers.
It is important to understand that a visit may not go as planned and make peace with that. That way, even when everything goes wrong you will not be as stressed.
Saying no to a visit is okay. You may be really caught up at work or have insufficient funds to make it for a visit. In such cases, you can send your loved one a card or a care package to brighten their holiday spirit.
Make sure that whatever you send to them has been accepted by the facility’s regulations. Also, there are apps that allow you to send photos to your loved ones directly from your smartphone at a low cost.
Wear Clothing Approved by the Prison
Correctional facilities have a list of clothing items that are not allowed into the facility. You showing up in the wrong color or clothing with the wrong material can get you turned away.
Most prisons tend to be located far from stores. This makes it difficult for you to go purchase any of the appropriate clothing in time.
Reminder for You and Your Prison Loved One
A prison visit is never easy. Visiting during the holiday season could even be worse. But there is no reason to feel scared or to turn down the visit. As long as you have the resources to make the visit please make sure you do.
Follow all the rules and procedure of the facility to ensure you are not turned away. Try to have a great time with your loved one because such memories are what you will all hold on to and help you cope with the situation.
Staying in touch with your loved one is therapeutic for all of you as a family. Plan ahead to make sure that things flow smoothly on that day. Make sure that you are at peace before visiting to ensure you all have a great time.
A Christmas Gift for When Your Loved One is Free
You may have a loved one already out of prison, if not on the way out. They’re bound to bump into some obstacles when it comes to re-entering society, specifically when it comes to finding a job.
While employers are trying to protect themselves from the dangers of hiring an ex-convict, these people are put at risk financially and more likely to contribute to rising recidivism rates. That’s where our brand new eBook comes in.
In this guide we have compiled tips and information on how to succeed financially after prison. This includes topics including resume writing, job interviews, and starting an independent business.
Buy a copy today, as there’s no better Christmas gift than a second chance. Comes in eBook format and paperback, so you can mail them directly to your loved one in prison.