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  • Writer's pictureEdovo Content Team

3 ways to support yourself and your loved one during incarceration

Updated: Jun 26

At Edovo, we understand the difficult journey you face when a loved one is incarcerated. Rest assured – you're not alone. Here at Edovo, we offer educational, vocational and rehabilitative resources to individuals in facilities across the United States.

The good news? Your loved one has access to Edovo's programs! But our support goes beyond the prison walls. We've compiled a list of tips and resources to help you navigate this challenging time, both for yourself and your loved one.


1. Learn together, even while apart

Isolation and loneliness are common struggles for incarcerated individuals. But research shows that learning together can be a powerful tool, boosting comprehension and fostering a sense of community. Here's how you can stay connected and learn alongside your loved one:

Explore Edovo Together: Did you know Edovo offers free, publicly accessible learning materials available to you both? Here’s a list! Find content you can both work on. Choose a topic you both find interesting and schedule "study sessions" during your regular calls with your loved ones to discuss your learnings. There are plenty of resources available - just ask your loved one what interests them.

Celebrate Progress: Regularly review your loved one's transcript (which shows completed and ongoing courses) and celebrate their achievements! Offer words of encouragement for courses in progress. Remember, you can check out your loved one’s transcripts by following this process.

Engage in Active Listening: When discussing your learning, ask questions like:

  • "What surprised you most?"

  • "Can you apply this knowledge today?"

  • "What do you hope I gain from this?"

  • "What part inspires you the most?"

Sharing a learning journey creates a sense of shared growth and interest, building a bridge even while physically apart.

2. Build Your Support Network

The impact of incarceration extends beyond those behind bars, affecting families, friends and communities. This challenging time can leave you feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Whether you’re seeking practical guidance, emotional support or a connection to a community that understands, these support networks can be a lifeline:

  1. Prison Families Alliance (PFA): This organization offers a lifeline to adults and children affected by the criminal justice system. PFA provides programs, support groups and advocacy resources to help you navigate your new reality.

  2. Extended Family: This group goes beyond simply coping. They offer a solution-based approach to adjusting to life with a loved one in prison. Extended Family’s support groups and resources can empower you to find strength and move forward.

  3. Prison Fellowship: Prison Fellowship is a Christian nonprofit dedicated to restoring the lives affected by crime and incarceration. They offer practical and spiritual support to those directly affected, including inmates through volunteer programs and chaplains, victims of crime through resources and support groups, and families of the incarcerated through programs like Angel Tree. Prison Fellowship highlights the positive impact of their work and advocates for criminal justice reform.

  4. The National Reentry Resource Center: The NRRC offers resources and support to help adults and juveniles successfully reintegrate into their communities after incarceration. They provide a comprehensive online library of research, best practices and training materials for professionals working in reentry.

  5. Honest Jobs: Honest Jobs is a website dedicated to fair-chance employment. They help individuals with criminal records find jobs and training opportunities, while also providing resources for employers

  6. Cornbread Hustle: Cornbread Hustle offers second chances by connecting formerly incarcerated individuals and those in recovery with employers seeking a diverse workforce. They provide job placement and training, along with an online course to help participants thrive in their new roles. Their mission is to reduce recidivism and build a more inclusive workplace.

  7. Jails to Jobs: Empowers ex-offenders to reintegrate into society through employment. Their website offers a step-by-step guide specifically designed for those recently released, equipping them with the tools to navigate the job search process and secure employment. This comprehensive resource promotes successful re-entry and reduces recidivism.

  8. Second Chance Business Coalition: The Second Chance Business Coalitions bridges the gap for formerly incarcerated individuals by promoting second-chance employment. This coalition unites major companies committed to hiring and advancing those with criminal records. 

3. Don’t Forget Yourself

Self-care is crucial during stressful times. Here are some tips to prioritize your own well-being:

  • Prioritize Forgiveness: Holding onto anger can be an emotional burden. Consider forgiveness as a journey of self-healing, not an excuse for the situation.

  • Mind & Body: Maintain your physical health and address your mental well-being. Explore stress management techniques, seek therapy if needed, and prioritize activities that bring you comfort.

  • Connect with Others: Lean on your family and friends for support. Consider joining a local support group for families with incarcerated loved ones. This can help you feel less alone and gain valuable insights from others navigating similar experiences.

  • Faith-Based Support: Many faith-based organizations offer counseling, support groups, and practical assistance during difficult times. Explore their resources or consider reaching out to a trusted religious leader.

Remember, you are a powerful advocate, and you are not alone. By educating yourself, building a support network and prioritizing your own well-being, you’ll be better equipped to navigate this challenging time and connect with your loved one while apart. 

We stand with you every step of the way. Together, we can create a path towards hope, healing and a brighter future.

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