3 Ways to Support a Loved One In Prison
Your spouse, family member, or friend has recently been arrested and booked in prison. You want to help, but you know little about the prison system. How can you support your loved one when he or she seems so far away?
Fortunately, there are several ways you can still support a loved one who is behind bars.
Visit Your Loved One
You can visit your loved one if you live near the prison where he or she is incarcerated. Most prisons have specific visiting hours. For example, the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Faribault has visiting hours on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. They also have weekend hours on Saturday and Sunday from 8:45 am to 3:45 pm.
You must fill out a visitor application before you can visit. Some facilities allow you to sit next to your loved one during visiting hours. At more restricted facilities, you must talk to your loved one through a video call. Or you might talk to him or her over the phone while you are separated from him or her by a window.
You can call your loved one’s prison or visit its website to find out about visiting hours. You should also contact your loved one to let him or her know you’re coming.
Talk on the Phone or Write Letters
If you aren’t able to visit regularly, you can still keep in touch with your loved one through letters and phone calls.
Keeping in touch with your loved one can improve his or her morale while in prison. It can also help him or her make a more positive transition when he or she eventually leaves prison. Just make sure to keep your letters and phone calls positive and encouraging.
How much does it cost to call someone in prison? It used to cost as much as $17 for a fifteen-minute conversation. Fortunately, new federal regulations have capped how much phone companies can charge someone to call from prison. Now, it costs only around $3.15 for a fifteen minute phone call, so you shouldn’t have as much of a problem calling your loved one regularly.
In your letters, keep your loved one updated with what’s going on in your life. If allowed by the particular prison, you could send your loved one photographs, comics, or word games to keep him or her amused and entertained. Do not include any sensitive details about the crime and arrest, since law enforcement officers read these letters.
You may wonder how to find out your loved one’s address and phone number. Your loved one may call or write you from prison to let you know how you can contact him or her. If he or she doesn’t contact you, you can call the prison administration to find out the address and phone number. You will likely need to find out your loved one’s booking number and cell block as well so you can include these as part of the address.
Consider Bailing Him or Her Out
If your loved one isn’t considered a danger and didn’t commit a serious crime, he or she might have the option to pay bail and return home until his or her court dates. If he or she shows up to all court appearances, he or she gets the bail money returned. However, bail is usually pricey, and many people who get arrested aren’t able to pay bail.
Some people turn to family members and friends to help them with the bail costs. Before you agree to pay bail, consider your level of trust for your loved one. If your loved one does not show up to the court appearances, the bail money is not returned, and you’re stuck paying the full cost of the bail. You may also need to pay for the costs of a bounty hunter to track down your loved one.
Only agree to pay the bail if you’re sure your loved one will show up to his or her court dates. If you decide to pay his or her bail, keep close tabs on your loved one to make sure he or she doesn’t try to hide from the legal system.
Paying bail for a loved one is more affordable if you work with a bail bonds company. You pay the company a set fee, and they take care of the rest of the cost. You don’t need to pay the full cost of the bail unless your loved one doesn’t show up for his or her court dates.
It’s in your best interest to choose a bail bonds company that has worked in the area for many years and has a current state license.
Follow these tips to support your imprisoned loved one. Your efforts to maintain a positive relationship with him or her can make a huge difference during this difficult time.
If you need a bail bond to get your loved one out of jail, contact Absolute Bail Bonds.