How Frequent Communication Helps Maintain Relationships During Incarceration

By HomeWAV MediaJune 10, 2022

How Frequent Communication Helps Maintain Relationships During Incarceration

Having a home and relationships is what keeps many people grounded, but what happens when their home is lost and their relationships are upended as a result of incarceration? That shift can take a serious toll on incarcerated individuals, as their social interactions are limited. Maintaining a relationship with an inmate can be challenging, both for the person who is incarcerated and their family and friends, but maintaining frequent communication can help everyone involved.

People require social interactions to grow and thrive mentally and emotionally, and we can all benefit when we learn about different perspectives from others through conversation. But how do you maintain a relationship and conversations with the difficult physical and mental barriers of incarceration? There is no easy answer to this, as it will require creativity and putting in the effort.

Creativity Knows No Bounds

There are a variety of ways to maintain a relationship with an inmate, some requiring less effort than others, but they are all capable of helping you connect. With a little creativity, not only will you keep each other engaged socially, you can help each other grow as people. Creative examples for socializing with incarcerated individuals, which can be done virtually or in-person, include:

Engage their interests. Do not talk about the things you know they dislike. Instead, bring light into their life — it will help sustain them. Do they love sports? Discuss their favorite college or professional team, especially if they are on a winning streak or making good headlines!

Playing games. Come up with simple games to play. Even ones that do not require any physical items, like games rooted in trivia, can be fun.

Reading books. Identify a book you both want to read, get two copies (one for each of you, if allowed) and then start your own two-person book club. If you want to study a topic together, a self-help book may be a great option. If the incarcerated individual is not allowed to have books, you could choose to read aloud to them. Some correctional facilities allow books to be made available through the HomeWAV system that can be read together.

Avoid talking about incarceration. Want to keep the mood light? Focus on fun topics, like favorite vacation spots, best restaurants, theme parks, movies, books, etc.

Religion. It’s not for everyone, but if your incarcerated loved one is a person of faith, they likely find comfort in discussing their faith background, books from the Bible, and religion.

Maintaining Healthy Relationships After Incarceration

The progress you make in your relationship while your loved one is incarcerated will carry over after their release. Not only will they be better adjusted, but you will also have a stronger bond that can help fuel the two of you emotionally.

Part of having a healthier relationship after incarceration is that incarceration provides opportunities for both parties to improve communication skills, which in turn can help strengthen your commitment to one another and perhaps even provide conflict-resolution skills. The development of these newfound skills does more than help you maintain a healthy relationship after incarceration, it can help ease the reentry process and reduce the chance of recidivism. 

Additionally, by communicating more with those outside of jail, those who are incarcerated are likely to feel more at ease settling back into society once they are released because they feel more connected to their loved ones and the community. They are more aware of things that have happened while they were gone and how those in their lives are doing, leading to feelings of connection.

Creating Interpersonal Connections through HomeWAV

HomeWAV provides cost-effective and convenient video visitation options to friends, family, and their incarcerated loved ones. With a free mobile app and easy-to-use technology, we make video calls simple. By bridging the technology gap, we make maintaining a relationship with an inmate easier. Create an account or check out our FAQ page for more information.