The New Year May be Full of Changes for Prisoner Families
Prisoner families should be aware that with a new administration rules could be changing in 2017. There could be new laws and rules in place in your state or at the facility that your loved one is housed. Make sure to visit the facility’s website or call the facility to see if there are any changes. This can save you a lot of hassle and disappointment when you go to visit. Especially if you are traveling a long way and they change the visitation policies or visiting days or hours.
The information in this section is updated from what we shared in 2016. We all have choices, even when visiting prison. There will be many things out of your control, however, you have the choice of how you will handle it. There are many things that you do have control over, so make sure that you are making the best decisions for yourself and your family. You have control over your behavior and what you say and do when you are in the facility and when you are talking to the guards. We all know that even though we are provided guidance on visitation, it can be interpreted differently by each facility or guard. The only thing you can be sure of is change, so expect it and be prepared for it. For the times when things feel too overwhelming, just take things a day at a time, an hour at a time, or even a minute at a time. Breathe. Make sure you notice the beauty in the world which may just be a sunny day, a blooming flower, a snowflake, hugging a loved one, or just the smile of a child. Make your New Year’s resolution to make this a great year, no matter what your situation.
Visiting Your Loved One in 2017
When you go to visit your loved ones there are many good things to look forward to during your visit:
- A Hug
- Sharing family moments and good news
- Seeing loved one happy and in good spirits
- Playing a game or reading together (in visiting areas that have these items available)
- Sharing food and especially if there are new food items in the commissary or in the machines
- Good weather during your visit so you can sit outside and/or walk around
- Taking a picture together
- Share your own good things to look forward to in 2017 in the Comments section below
When you go to visit your loved ones there also things that can happen that are out of your control, but that you can prepare for:
- Lock down (no visitation)
- Contraband (bringing something into the visiting area that is construed as illegal at that facility)
- Being turned away because of what you are wearing (clothing deemed inappropriate or wrong colors)
- Loved one not in good spirits
- Vending machines not working and/or commissary closed
- All the games and/or books are already signed out or not available
- Camera not working so no pictures for this visit
- Share your own challenges in the Comments section below
My wish to all of you is to be empowered, to know your strength, and to make a difference in your world. You have the choice to be a victim or a victor. Choose victor! Here’s to making a difference in 2017!