When a loved one goes to jail, it can be difficult to figure out the best way to help. The amount of information to sort through only adds additional stress, and the frequent use of legal jargon can become overwhelming very quickly. To further complicate the situation, each prison operates differently, from visiting hours to scheduled activities to money transfers. A good first step is to research the facility where your friend or family member is.

Orienting yourself to your loved one’s environment is essential for several reasons. First, it helps you understand your friend or family member’s circumstances better. Simply gaining this insight into his or her experience will provide a stronger platform for your interactions moving forward. Additionally, accessing jail information enables you to provide more efficient support. Prisons have specific guidelines not only for visiting hours but also for sending and receiving mail, money, and gifts. You can also learn about activities and employment opportunities that may be of interest to your loved one.

How Inmate Support Can Help

Inmate Support is your gateway to accessing this essential information. Through its searchable directory of all jails in the United States, its innovative search technology allows you to find your loved one’s prison easily. Search results can then be bookmarked or saved as a PDF for quick access later. To start your research, you will need to be familiar with the following parameters:

Category: It is helpful to know if your loved one is in one a Federal State Prison or a USA State Prison. There are 124 Federal State Prisons and 875 USA State Prisons, so being familiar with the jail type will save you time in your search.

Keywords: Inmate Support’s search algorithm allows you to enter keywords that may identify the facility more easily.

Location: The location field guides your search by mailing address, city, state, or zip code. Once you begin typing, the search technology will provide you with choices to pinpoint the location.

Radius: If needed, you can select up to a 10-mile radius from the location you indicated, which will widen the search parameters.

The entire search takes only seconds and provides you with a helpful easy-to-digest overview of your friend or family member’s facility.

How Can I Use This Information?

The search result information will provide a general sense of what to expect from the facility, including how large it is, the levels of security or custody, visiting hours, and recent accreditation information, if available. Furthermore, the jail profile often highlights services provided for inmates, from education, counseling, creative outlets, and religious services. Perhaps most importantly, the overview lists any communication information available, including direct numbers to contact the facility and guidelines for connecting with your loved ones.

What Are My Next Steps?

After familiarizing yourself with the overview provided in the search result, there are additional steps you can take to provide more support:

  1. Continue researching. Use the information in the prison overview to access the jail’s website. This will provide you with up-to-date information and give you deeper insight into what you can expect.
  2. Contact the prison. Use the contact information provided by Inmate Support to reach out to your loved one’s facility. Taking this initiative will get the ball rolling on any paperwork or guidelines you need to complete in order to communicate with your friend or family member.
  3. Consider additional resources. Inmate Support offers a variety of resources to help you provide optimal support for your loved one. The searchable database also includes Bail Bondsmen and Lawyers by geographical area as well as an Inmate Guide to help you prepare for visits and explore other areas of support.