The small infant you held close to your heart did not turn out the way you planned. Your hopes and dreams for your child have been washed away. Your child is incarcerated. Even though, you are hurt, ashamed and angry, your child needs you more than ever. Although this is a hard time for you and your family it is so important that you support your loved one both financially and mentally.
Most institutions require the inmate pay for everything. They pay for all hygiene products, extra food and mailing supplies. Payments are also expected if they need to see a nurse or a dentist. Sending them a money order for money to be placed on their books is the easiest way. This will allow them a weekly visit to the commissary where they may purchase: chips, candy, ramin noodles, tuna packets, hygiene products, and writing materials. The food that they are given at meal time is horrible tasting and the portions are so small most grown men can not sustain on them. So they have to supplement their meals with food from the commissary. The money that you send them allows them to have the things they need and a few wants now and then. Some institutions will allow you to have items shipped directly from a company to the inmate. Barnes & Noble will ship books, CDs and audio tapes to a Correctional Facility. J. L. Marcus (http://www.jlmarcuscatalog.com) will also ship hygiene products and electronics to most facilities. Before you order anything check with the institute to find out what is allowed.
Another important way to support your love one is through the United States Postal Service. Writing letters to your love one will let them know they are still an important part of your family. Show them you still love them even if you do not agree with what happened to land them in there. In some places they spend 23 hours a day in a cell. They do not have even the smallest luxury of a TV or a radio. They are locked down with one or more people with only time on their hands. Mail call is so important to them. This is the only contact they have with the outside world. Include in your letters comics, crossword puzzles, questionnaires about you or the family that they can mail back. Let them know what is going on in your daily lives. Send photos of places you go or things that you are doing. Once again it is important to find out what the requirements are for mail where they are being held. Some only allow white envelopes, others will allow you to use gel pens and stickers in your letter. It is important that you follow the rules, so they get the letters they are looking forward to.
Having someone you love in a state or federal institution may be the hardest thing you deal with in life. Remember they also have to deal with a very hard moment in time. Supporting them both financially and emotionally is important to them. They are not the forgotten ones. It also allows them to believe that they can do better when they get out. It is going to be hard for them when they get out, having a good support system will help them achieve the goals they have set for themselves. You may not be happy with their actions, still take the time to let you know that you love them.