Going to prison means losing freedom as a citizen and being confined to single facility. If you are a friend to someone in prison, keeping in touch with your friend can boost his self-confidence and minimize the depression he may feel about the time he is facing. Friends and family play an important role in the well-being of a prisoner. Studies show an improvement in prisoners' lives when friends and family communicate with them through phone, personal visits and/or letters.
Send entertaining items. Letters and cards are a way to keep people in high spirits. When writing a letter, include jokes and gossip about recent events that will cheer up your friend. When sending a card, choose one that will make your friend laugh; laughter tends to cheer up a great majority of people. Magazines are entertaining because they keep inmates informed about things happening in the world, such as celebrity news, television shows and world news. Readable entertainment is beneficial to keep an imprisoned friend busy and cheerful. Also send pictures of his friends and family to make him feel as if he is somewhat involved in their lives.
Get a home phone or add money to a cellular phone. Most inmate calls will require a charge to your credit/debit card or to your phone company, in order for you to accept the calls. When talking to your friend, try to make the conversation about him and keep a happy tone, even if you are unhappy. If your friend is not in a happy mood and is feeling down, talk and listen to your friend; try your best to comfort him.
Visit your friend. Though it seems like a hassle to travel, especially long distances, visiting your friend is often the greatest way to raise his spirits because it is not often that prisoners get to speak with close friends face to face while in prison. There may be certain dates and times you are allowed to visit your friend, so check with the prison for that information. Prepare lists of things to talk about with your friend beforehand to take full advantage of the time you have to spend with him. Topics of conversation should be positive.
Send your friend money. Though this may not seem like a way to console your friend, it may be. Inmates have opportunities to buy products, such as toothbrushes and food snacks, while they are imprisoned. Lacking basics that most of us consider necessities could cause your friend to be depressed. Check with the prison facility to see how you can send money and if it is required to be in the form of a money order.
- Check with the prison facility to see what kind of items are allowable to send to inmates.
- prison image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com