5 Ways to Help Your Loved One (and Yourself) During and After Incarceration

5 Ways to Help Your Loved One (and Yourself) During and After Incarceration

Are you looking for ways to cope with emotional stress while your loved one or friend is incarcerated?

There’s no rule book when it comes to dealing with such a complicated situation, especially emotionally. But like other stressful challenges in life, you can get through this, too.

We’ve put together five tips that we hope will help you and your incarcerated loved one or friend feel more connected:


Staying Connected1. STAY CONNECTED

Depending on the services available at your loved one’s facility, there are several ways for you to communicate to help you stay connected:

  • Talking by Phone – Phone calls are the most popular way inmates connect with their support networks. This can be an effective tool to help you both stay updated on how each of you are doing.
  • Sending Digital Messages – Similar to traditionally mailed letters, the simple act of receiving a message while in prison or jail can make your loved one’s day. (Sending photos, too, can help your loved one or friend feel even more connected to you and the outside world.)
  • Scheduling Visits – Letters and phone calls are great, but in-person and video visits allow you to talk AND see your loved one or friend. These are great ways to connect when distance may feel like an obstacle.



Keep Up With Current Events2. KEEP UP WITH CURRENT EVENTS

It can be challenging for your loved one or friend to keep up with current events and the latest news while incarcerated. Of course, you can always share news with them yourself when you communicate in person or via phone, message or video; some inmates, though, also have access to news applications to help them keep up with the outside world, such as the following popular news providers:

  • ESPN
  • CNN
  • Fox News
  • NPR

This premium service is available as a 7-day, 14-day, and 30-day subscription, funded by deposits to an inmate’s Debit Link account.
Visit our facilities page to see what’s available for your inmate.




Without education, inmates are more likely to engage in criminal activity after their release and may end up returning to prison or jail. This is one of the reasons why ConnectNetwork offers training and educational resources to inmates who have access to tablets and education content at no extra charge. These valuable courses and trainings have the potential to make a life-changing impact, so we encourage you to remind them of this free service.

ConnectNetwork offers over 165,000 pieces of education content, including:

  • Self-Help Courses
  • GED Prep Modules
  • 20,000 Practice Exercises
  • 7,000 Instructional Videos

In addition, we have courses focusing on:

  • Life Skills
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Financial Literacy
  • Employability Skills
  • Substance Abuse
  • Re-entry Support

Learn more about our education content and other related material.



Support and Encouragement4. SEEK SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT

Incarceration is difficult – not just for your loved one or friend, but for you as well. Everyone needs support and encouragement from time to time, and ConnectNetwork wants to make sure that you and your loved one or friend have access to the resources you both need.

For loved ones with subscription-based accounts, they can access apps such as these (where available):

  • Education
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Careers
  • Fathering in 15 (from the National Fatherhood Institute)

If you’re looking for some support right now, you might find these inspirational quotes helpful.



Preparing for a Loved One's Re-Entry5. PREPARE FOR A LOVED ONE’S RE-ENTRY

Re-entering society is an exciting time for your incarcerated loved one and their friends and family, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still need support. Rest assured, there can be steps to help you both prepare for this new life together.

Prison Fellowship offers “Eight Ways to Prepare for a Loved One’s Re-Entry.”

You may also find “3 Ways Employment After Prison Can be Achieved”  helpful, as well as “Sharp Dressed Man,”  which provides useful tips for male inmates who want to re-join the workforce post-release. In addition, your loved one’s facility may also provide resources to help them prepare for successful re-entry.



Want to Connect with Your Inmate Now?

Sign In


Still have suggestions?

Please keep your comments coming. We value your feedback! Give Feedback


The information provided in this article is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have if you are experiencing depression or any other medical condition.

GTL does not control or take responsibility for the content or information on any external website not managed by GTL.

Posted In: Blog


Focusing on Mental Health All Year Round

Read Article

Resources to Improve Mental Wellbeing of Incarcerated Individuals

Read Article