Not everything in life is going to be happy and good, and sometimes you can find yourself in situations that you never thought you would be in. One of these includes someone you love going to prison for committing a crime. They might just be in there for a short time, but many find themselves serving a lot longer, depending on the crime they have committed.
However long they are sentenced for, there are ways that you, as their loved one, can definitely help them and yourself in the process. Read on for some useful advice.
Keep In Contact
The one thing that anyone in prison is going to crave above anything else is contact with the outside world, and you can help them maintain that contact. It might not always be possible to visit at every opportunity, especially if you have work or a young family to take care of, but visiting on a regular basis offers a good routine and something to look forward to. Even if once a month or every two months, it will make a difference.
Contact doesn’t necessarily mean physically being there either; it can mean an email, letter, or phone call. Something that offers the person in prison some form of contact with someone they love and who cares for them can really help them.
Are You Okay?
Asking someone in prison if they are okay may seem like a ridiculous question. However, the point of the question is to show that you care in the first instance. This will determine if more help is needed. Even if they are fine to begin with, their mental health can change. Being in prison can affect someone’s mental health even more. Therefore, asking if they are okay on a regular basis and measuring the answers so that help can be given if needed is a crucial part of helping a loved one who is in prison for any reason.
Find expert help
For those that have been remanded in custody and are awaiting trial, it is important that you are fully aware of their mental health. Asking if they are okay is one avenue, but working alongside psychiatry experts will help reveal their true mental state. As an expert witness, they can determine whether their mental health might have impacted their decision to commit the crime. Once the trial is over, they will continue to monitor and work closely with them to ensure that they are okay in prison. Even when you are not there to ask, “are you okay”, there will be somebody that is.
Keep Them Busy
One of the major issues with those in prison is that, despite the fact that they will be offered plenty to do in terms of learning, reading, and other activities, they may not feel up to it at first, or ever.
This can mean that prison becomes extremely difficult, plus they are missing out on something that could potentially help them when they are released. One of your jobs as a loved one ‘on the outside’ is to help them to keep busy, and to explain just why taking the prison up on any offer of activities, particularly something that will benefit them either mentally or physically, is a good idea. They may not want to do it at first, but they will thank you in the end, particularly if it leads to employment or gives them skills to start their own business.