The Holidays In Prison

While all of the retailers on the outside are already trying to make sure you are in a festive mood while you are shopping, the daily grind inside the prison system continues.  As it gets closer to the holidays the prisoners are given a break from school and classes, if they are taking any, but to many of them that is less of a break and just more time to have nothing to do.

On the actual days of Christmas and Thanksgiving there is usually a meal that is better than the other days, but in some units (particularly those run by the private companies like GEO and CCA) a better than average meal will be given for one, then a sack lunch with a bologna sandwich will be given for the other meal that day. Just as an aside, the holiday meals in the prisons run by the State are much better than those run by the private corporations.

The hardest part is the time away from the families though so we at want to make a few suggestions for the people who have friends and family in jail this holiday season

  1. Visit them when you can and write them regularly. Nothing is more uplifting to a prisoner than seeing their family or getting a letter from someone.
  2. If you have a little extra money, put it "on their books" so they can visit the commissary and get a few treats. Even a couple of "soups" can do a lot for their morale and any sweets they can buy are a big deal.
  3. When Christmas rolls around consider sending something to them. A gift in prison is hard to select, but books are usually best, since most books will make it through the checkers and be allowed to go directly to the prisoners.
  4. Of course, if parole is being considered during the next year we suggest sending them the printed copy of our eBook How to Prepare a Texas Parole Presentation Package. This not only lets them know you are thinking about them but also gives them something to do by allowing them to start working on their parole package from inside the walls.
  5. Christmas cards are also great and often provide the only decoration in a drab room or cell. They not only brighten the place up but they also are a constant reminder that someone on the outside still cares about them.

Anything you can do to let an inmate know they are still a part of your life is important so take a few minutes this holiday season to tell them you care.