When a person goes to jail, they are cut off from society and kept under rigid supervision as punishment. However, incarceration is not an impenetrable barrier for someone behind bars to experience love and support.
If you have a loved one behind bars, now is the perfect time to continue to show your support to them. However, you must know how to show your love to people, especially if you have a partner in jail.
This article provides you with ideas on how to show love to people behind bars. It also discusses ways to show your support for them, like writing letters that uplift and strengthen your relationship despite your situation.
If you need ideas on establishing close communication with loved ones behind bars, you can visit LookUpInmate.org. Our website provides a database of over 7,000 correctional institutions in the United States.
Through our website, you can get the needed contact information to start correspondence, send packages, and plan visits to your incarcerated loved ones.
Partner Is in Jail—What Can You Do?
When someone you love goes to jail, the first thing you should do is understand the reason for their incarceration.
People go to jail to answer for the crimes they’ve committed. It’s a punishment allowed by the state to safely confine and hold offenders to prevent them from disturbing the peace and safety of the public.
Acknowledging the mistake your loved one made is crucial, especially if the inmate is your partner. You should have the right mindset during these difficult times and be open to the benefits imprisonment brings to offenders.
Understand that going to jail is not necessarily bad if it’s for the benefit of your loved one who has gone astray.
Visit Them As Much as Possible
The first thing you should plan once a loved one is behind bars is a visit to their facility.
Traveling to a prison facility just to visit your partner can be costly. Still, those personal visits are one of the most important things you can do during these tough times.
Studies have shown that visiting loved ones in jail is beneficial. A study made in 2008 showed positive results for inmates with regular visitors.
The study examined the performance of 7,000 people released from Florida state prisons. Researchers revealed that each personal visit received by an inmate while behind bars reduced their chances of recidivating by 3.8% two years after release.
Recidivism is the tendency of an inmate to return to doing crime after release resulting in reconviction.
Make Plans for When They’re Released
Getting released from jail is not the end of an inmate’s challenges. Jail release is the beginning of that person’s chance to live a new life.
However, it’s saddening to know that for some ex-inmates, prison release is not freedom from imprisonment but a trip into a life of prejudice, discrimination, and solitude.
Relatives of some inmates are not too keen on accepting their wayward kin. Some inmates become outcasts of their homes or, worse, have no homes to return to.
If you have a partner in jail, one way to show them your love is to prepare for their release.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of 230 organizations promoting human rights in the United States, identified four barriers to an inmate’s success when reentering society.
According to the fact sheet released by the leadership conference, from 2002 to 2006, there were 262,000 offenders released from federal prisons. However, not all could secure employment, and 50% of ex-inmates who couldn’t find a job returned to committing crimes, resulting in re-incarceration.
One reason for the high unemployment rate among ex-inmates is that 90% of businesses include background checks when hiring. As a result, even adults with criminal records, not necessarily an imprisonment record, get affected by this employment filter.
So, if your partner is set for release, it’s best that you help them find job opportunities. Having a stable occupation can help your partner start a new life.
Education programs for previously incarcerated individuals
Another barrier to an ex-inmates successful reentry is the lack of access to education. Many studies over several decades show that incarcerated persons who received more education are less likely to get reconvicted after they’re set free.
However, the actual situation is that not all prisoners have the chance or access to education. The Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994 effectively prevented previously incarcerated people from getting scholarship grants from the federal government.
The bill states that anyone convicted of a federal crime is banned from receiving Pell Grants or a college fund given by the government for students.
Many prisoner rights activists see the crime bill as one of the main factors that caused the mass incarceration crisis experienced in the United States. The crime bill denies more than 463,000 inmates access to free college.
Another problem ex-inmates face once released is access to housing assistance. Since 1975, federal regulations have directed public housing authorities to include an applicant’s criminal history in determining housing assistance eligibility.
The regulation aims to protect the welfare of tenants from criminal acts. Some public housing authorities adopted a blanket screening that rejects applicants with criminal histories.
However, the regulations don’t end there. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development adopted a “One-strike Policy” in 1996.
This policy gives the department authority to evict or deny an entire household if authorities reasonably determine that any member or guest of that family is involved in illegal drugs or other criminal acts.
The housing problem is a massive issue for ex-inmates, coupled with the bleak opportunity of landing a decent job.
Millions of Americans with felony convictions are not allowed to vote.
The fact sheet released in 2017 states that 6.1 million people are disenfranchised by being banned from voting. Some laws rescind people’s right to vote once they commit severe crimes.
Losing one’s right to vote means losing a voice in the public discussion. As a result, representatives advocating ex-prisoner welfare are scarce because an entire demographic simply can’t vote.
Now that you understand the predicament your partner will be subjected to once released, it’s best to start preparing.
Talk with your partner behind bars and show them your love by planning for the future. Ensure you make them feel they are an active part of your future plans.
Get to Know Their Friends and Family Members
When you love your partner, you’ll also love the people your partner loves. It helps keep a relationship intact, even if your partner is behind bars. You should be friendly with your partner’s friends and family members.
Creating deep connections with your partner’s family and friends reassures them that you’re not going anywhere. You’re here to support your partner despite being in prison.
Surprise Them With Gifts
Prison or jail life is not easy. It’s a life full of routine, regulations, and regular boredom. Being held against one’s will is uncomfortable, which is why the act of incarceration is the punishment itself.
So, any item you can give that’s allowed by prison authorities is always appreciated. Books are among the best gifts you can give to inmates.
Prison authorities highly promote reading inside jails. However, there are rules that you must follow when sending reading materials to your loved one behind bars.
Photos are also a great way of showing love to your partner in jail or prison. However, like with other items, these photographs must adhere to the regulations imposed by the prison or jail.
It’s best to always contact or talk to the prison’s warden or any correctional facility authority about things you can and can’t send to inmates.
Always Write to Them
One of the easiest ways to maintain communication with your partner in jail is through letters. Prisons allow people from the outside world to engage in correspondence with inmates.
However, you should be aware that letters are inspected first before they’re delivered to the inmate. So, be mindful of the contents of your letters and what you include in your correspondence.
Jails Love Quotes to Him
Quotes are powerful because they’re short phrases with deep, profound meanings. You can add tidbits of these phrases to your letters that your partner can remember and be the source of inspiration.
There are thousands of quotes you can use for this purpose. Lord Byron, John Keats, and William Shakespeare are treasure troves of love quotes.
Missing Your Boyfriend in Jail Quotes
Some use song lyrics as love quotes. You can use songs with your partner that are memorable or have a shared meaning. Aside from songs, you can use quotes from romantic movies or even compose your own.
Inspirational Quotes for Someone in Jail
Inspirational quotes can help uplift a person in jail. During these difficult times, sound advice is crucial. Inmates can have unpleasant experiences behind bars that can drive them to depression.
So, you can include inspirational quotes when you talk or write to your man or woman behind bars. These short phrases can help guide them through their day-to-day ordeal during incarceration.
Be Creative When Expressing Your Love and Affection
There are multiple ways to show love and affection to someone behind bars. You can be as creative as you want. Just ensure that your loved one will appreciate it.
You can sing them their favorite song, especially if you’re a singer, or write a poem or story. However, you must confirm with the prison authorities if what you plan to send to your loved one is not contraband.
Sometimes, items used to decorate letters, like glitter, drawings done with crayons, or even perfumes, are not allowed. Also, using symbols and other unfamiliar writing signs is prohibited.
Prison staff may interpret these symbols as coded messages to inmates, which might endanger the safety and security of the facility.
If you happen to use these items to be creative with your expression of love, you’ll get the hard rejection of prison staff.
Remember Important Things About Them
One way to express your love to your partner is by remembering the crucial things, events, and dates about them. Show your partner that you remember all the stories they told you.
Remember their birthday or any date that is special for them. Your partner behind bars needs all the support you can give to ease their loneliness.
Don’t Question or Doubt Them
When visiting or talking to your partner in prison, remember that it’s not the time to judge or drag them down with guilt. It’s a time for remorse, repentance, and healing.
Don’t take the role of judge, jury, and executioner of your partner. Instead, be that person they can go to who always understands.
Open your heart to your partner and look beyond what he is today. The human body adapts and responds to environmental factors. People can become better versions of themselves, especially if they’re willing to be guided toward reforming.
Help your partner toward recovery. The first step in this journey is to accept them, understand the consequences of their past actions, and never doubt their ability to change.
Don’t Hold It Against Them That They’re in Jail and You’re Missing Out
When your partner is in prison, they miss out on many things. They can’t be there to celebrate your birthday or your kid‘s birthday if you have one.
Going on dates is out of the question. Also, being intimate with your partner can be challenging because several states have prohibited conjugal visits for couples.
However, Connecticut DOC (Department of Corrections) doesn’t call it conjugal visits but extended family visits (EFV), which focus on an inmate’s parental obligation to their children.
Enduring this type of long-distance relationship is a sacrifice you and your partner will make. So, ensure that you understand this commitment, which you may have to stick to throughout the amount of time your partner stays in jail.
Reassure Them That You Love Them
It may be redundant to reassure your partner of your undying love. However, there are a few people your partner can trust, and you are among them.
Reassurances from a trustworthy person can alleviate a person’s despair and hopelessness. These reassurances may be a few lines in a conversation or paragraphs in a letter. Still, they can mean the world to your incarcerated partner.
Make Every Conversation Meaningful
Prison visits are limited moments that you need to make the most of. Always ensure that each visit is a chance for meaningful conversation.
The law states that an inmate gets four hours of visiting time per month for federal prisons. However, the prison warden has the discretion to extend this privilege or to limit it, especially to avoid overcrowding.
If possible, always start your conversation with excitement or longing. However, you should be mindful of your limited time for visitation.
Talk about the important things, plans, and problems both of you encounter in day-to-day life. Make your conversation meaningful and ensure you get something valuable from your talk.
Tickle Their Imagination
One of the best ways to tickle the imagination of someone behind bars is to invite them to start reading books. The U.S. federal courts promote reading to inmates and allow books inside a prison, as the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protects this right.
The Constitution protects a person, even an inmate’s freedom of speech. However, the type of book is subject to rules and regulations imposed by the state’s DOC.
Staying faithful means being staunch in your allegiance to a particular person or belief. So remain loyal to your partner in jail.
Ensure you show your faithfulness to your partner to avoid misunderstandings. Reassure them that you’re not going anywhere and are in it for the long haul.
Don’t Let Anyone Interfere With Your Relationship
You and your partner must make important decisions and plans. Refrain from letting other people interfere with your love life.
It can’t be helped that there will be comments and opinions about the uncertainty of a relationship with someone in jail. Still, true love stories happening in a prison setting are not impossible. Trust your partner, have faith in their ability to change, and continue strengthening your relationship.
Having a relationship with someone in jail is a waiting game that requires patience and hope. You’ll usually know when your loved one will be released. Visit LookUpInmate.org to get information on the release dates of an inmate.
You may have to wait months or years before your loved one is released.
Even if a 10-year sentence seems excruciatingly long, it will end. Look forward to that day and cultivate patience and genuine longing until you’ll be together again.
Things to Send to Your Boyfriend in Jail
You can send a care package to your boyfriend or an intimate partner in prison.
A care package is a careful selection of items that meet prison regulations. This package includes food, hygiene items like shampoo and toothpaste, clothes, and books.
Make Every Conversation Meaningful
Writing Love Letters to Prison Inmates—What to Say
Communication with your partner who’s incarcerated can be a challenge. There are many rules and regulations that you need to comply with for you to have that opportunity to talk with an inmate.
Moreso, if your partner gets involved in any trouble inside prison, it may lessen your chance to talk to them. So, one usual way to communicate with an intimate partner in jail is through traditional love letters.
The following topics will guide you on what to say and write when composing a love letter to someone dear behind bars.
What to Keep in Mind Before Sending Prison Love Letters
Part of being in a romantic relationship is sending love letters. Still, you must remember that letters sent to prison are subject to inspection.
Here are some regulations you must follow when writing letters to your partner.
- Don’t add staples or paper clips.
- Don’t use markers, crayons, glue, stickers, glitter, or lipstick on your love letter.
- Don’t spray any perfume or other fragrances or scents on your letter.
- Don’t draw or add any markings that might look like a secret code.
- Don’t write anything too personal that you don’t want others, especially prison staff, to read.
When Will My Love Letter Arrive in Prison?
Your partner will get your love letter if you adhere to the prison’s rules and regulations concerning correspondence. The time it will reach your loved one behind bars depends on the speed of the courier service you’ve chosen.
Most federal prisons prefer mail sent via USPS (United States Postal Service). However, for state prisons and jails, it’s best to confirm whether you can send mail or packages using other courier services like FedEx (Federal Express) or UPS (United Parcel Service).
Sample Love Letters
The following sections provide samples, templates, and tips on how to write love letters to your partner in jail. You can follow these guidelines to start your correspondence and customize it according to your conversation with your loved one.
Missing Someone in Jail Letters
When you want to write emphasizing that you miss an incarcerated person, focus on the good memories. Don’t place too much emphasis on the hardships and loneliness you feel.
Start a letter creatively:
My best friend, lover, and partner for the rest of my life!
It’s been two years now, and I thank you for falling in love with me. We’ve made many memories together, keeping me company when I’m alone.
(You can write your fond memories here and how you want to make new ones when they are released.)
Sweet Love Letter to a Boyfriend or Husband in Jail
A sweet love letter is a charming, light-hearted collection of love paragraphs. This type of letter aims to ignite your sweet, tender feelings for each other. You can write a poem or a creative play in words that show sweetness.
You can use this example as a guide.
Wherever I look, I see your face. I see the love of my life. How can I feel alone, even if you’re away, when nature reminds me of you at every turn?
(Add more lines that you think will make your partner smile)
Encouraging Letter to a Boyfriend or Husband in Jail
Letters of encouragement are often needed during times of ordeal. Suppose your boyfriend, girlfriend, or any intimate partner is experiencing despair and hopelessness. In that case, an encouraging letter is an excellent way to show your love.
Here’s an example of how to write an encouraging letter.
To my boyfriend (you can change this to fit the gender of your partner)
I’m writing this so that you can have something to read whenever you are alone and feel lonely. You don’t need to be perfect; just be perfectly you. You’re more than ready to overcome anything that comes your way, and I believe in you.
(You can add your reassurance that no matter what your relationship’s problems are, you’re always here to help.)
Apology Letter to a Boyfriend or Husband in Jail
There are moments when people in intimate relationships have misunderstandings that result in disagreements. Sometimes, a visit may end in an argument, or a phone call finishes with you or your partner hanging up.
Both you and your partner are experiencing stress due to the incarceration. It’s best to be empathetic about your partner’s plight in prison. You can initiate the healing process and write an apology letter. Here’s an example
(Name of loved one)
I’m sorry for what I said on my last visit. I realized now that I shouldn’t have said all those things. I know that you’re experiencing more challenges than me. I can make mistakes, and I’m sorry.
(An apology letter always starts with an admission, acknowledging one’s mistake, and asking for forgiveness. Refrain from justifying your actions because it won’t be an apology letter.)
Christmas Letter to a Boyfriend or Husband in Jail
If your loved one celebrates Christmas, a letter with holiday cheer is in order. However, there are religious groups that adhere to other holidays.
Examples are members of the Jewish faith and Islam. Both these religions have different holidays they celebrate. It’s best to greet your partner during the holidays they recognize and acknowledge.
Writing letters is an effective way to reach out to people behind bars. You are communicating with them and giving them a tangible extension of yourself that they can bring to their cells.
They can pull out your letters and reread them during difficult times. A letter may just be a small thing, but for an inmate, it’s their window and connection to the outside world.
Writing letters to prison takes more work. You’ll need to understand the rules and regulations concerning prison correspondence. Moreso, you’ll need the correct addresses and contact information of the prison facility where your partner is housed.
You can visit LookUpInmate.org and access thousands of prison and jail websites nationwide. You can get contact information using our site’s vast database of over 7,000 correctional facilities in the United States.
Signs an Inmate Really Loves You
There are instances where you may be trying to create friendships with inmates via a pen pal program.
You may have tried writing letters for the first time, but you don’t know if an inmate likes or loves you. Here are some signs hinting that an inmate is becoming close to you.
They Write You Sentimental Letters
People tend to pour their emotions on people they trust. If you’ve become someone inmates share their past with through sentimental letters, it’s a sign that your pen pal is slowly opening up to you.
Your Care Packages Mean the World to Them
Whenever you send them packages or items, they’ll appreciate it and tell you about it. You may receive a letter from them full of appreciation for the gifts you’ve sent.
The Spark in Their Eyes Is Consistent Every Time You Visit Them
You can see their eyes light up when your partner finally sees you personally. If you see this in an inmate you’re exchanging letters with, they might be falling in love with you.
You Talk About Important Things in Life
A casual conversation is often shallow. But if an inmate starts falling in love, the topics you regularly discuss can change. You may notice that most of the time, the focus of your conversations is life topics important to both of you.
It shows that your partner behind bars is deeply interested in you and wants to know more about you.
They Don’t Call You Only When They Need Something
Inmates can initiate a phone call to people included in a pre-approved list. If your number is part of an inmate’s approved list, they can call and charge you with the bill through collect calls.
Inmates who have grown affectionate with you will usually speak to you at every opportunity.
It’s up to you to limit their eagerness to call you, which might become intrusive. However, prison facilities often have a definite amount of minutes per month allotted for inmate calls. Some prisons may allow up to 300 minutes of phone call time a month per inmate.
They Tell You That They’re Ready to Change
There are instances where a person’s love for someone is strong enough to induce change. For example, you’ve told your partner behind bars to change their ways.
Out of love, your partner may promise to take the necessary steps to leave their criminal past behind and reform.
They Talk About the Future
When your partner is in love with you, they’ll talk more about what will happen next. The topics of your conversation may focus more on the future and the plans both of you will make once your partner is released.
They Aren’t Pen Pals With Other Men or Women
Lastly, once a person behind bars deeply loves you, they’ll refrain from having other people as pen pals. Your partner will become faithful to you.
What Should an Inmate Not Do in Jail?
Receiving letters, phone calls, and visits are all privileges that the prison authorities allow. If inmates want to enjoy these perks continuously, they must maintain good behavior.
You should advise your partner behind bars to avoid committing delinquency inside prison so that nothing can hinder your romance from blossoming into true love.
- Research roundup: The positive impacts of family contact for incarcerated people and their families
- FACT SHEET – Barriers to Successful Re-Entry of Formerly Incarcerated People
- Since You Asked: How did the 1994 crime bill affect prison college programs?
- Human biological adaptability: Overview. (n.d.).
- General Visiting Information
- The Constitution
- Books Behind Bars: The Right to Read in Prison