One common mistake people make when dealing with a prison sentence is not doing their homework. There is a lot that can be done ahead of time to make life easier during a prison sentence, from making sure you have people looking after your assets to ensuring you’ll get as much support as possible while inside.
If you or a loved one is expected to serve a prison sentence in the near future, here are some of the ways you can prepare for what’s to come.
1 – Break the news
No one wants to go to prison, and no one wants to admit to others and themselves that they are going to prison. That’s an understandable response, but it causes problems. Whether you’re due for a long or a short prison sentence, you’re going to need the support of your loved ones for what’s to come.
On top of that, your prison stay will affect the lives of everyone around you. And the sooner you break the news, the longer they’ll have to process what’s happening and prepare.
Letting the people close to you know that you’re going to jail is also very important for the next step.
2 – Power of attorney
It’s hard to manage businesses, investments, lands, contracts, properties, and more when you’re inside. This is why it’s common practice to give someone you trust a power of attorney letter before going in. Power of attorney gives a trusted individual — or a group — the authority to act on your behalf when you’re inside.
This can be useful in two ways. First, it lets you tell that trusted person what you want, and that person can make it happen. And second, it allows that trusted individual to act on your behalf whenever a decision needs to be made fast and reaching you isn’t an option.
Prison inmates have limited access to the outside world, after all. If a decision regarding one of your assets needs to be made in a matter of hours, the person with power of attorney over your affairs can make that call for you.
Because power of attorney is a lot of responsibility, it’s not uncommon for people with large assets to make two or more people share the responsibility. This way, the group can only decide on your behalf if all three agree on the decision, which reduces risks.
3 – Figure out what you can take
Different prisons will have different rules on what you can and can’t take with you when you go inside. You may be able to bring everything from underwear to photos, books, letters, and more when you go inside, depending on the state and prison regulations.
Check what you can take. And make sure to take as many creature comforts as possible within the rules of the prison. Even something as small as comfortable socks or a photo of a loved one can help make your prison stay much more bearable.
4 – Get professional help
Working with a therapist can help make your time before, during, and after prison easier. And yes, you may be allowed to call and have Zoom sessions with your therapist while inside, depending on local regulations.
It’s also a good idea to talk to a professional prison consultant. As this website shows, these professionals can help you navigate the various challenges you may encounter when dealing with a prison sentence.