How to Stay Positive in Jail

The period of incarceration can be a scary, confusing, and lonely time for your loved one. Removing a person from society and stripping them of their normal lives and responsibilities can greatly alter an incarcerated person’s outlook on life, and can even affect their brain chemistry. In fact, 37% of people in state and federal prisons have been diagnosed with a mental illness, along with many others who simply struggle with keeping a positive mindset. To help your incarcerated loved one make it through this difficult period with high spirits, you can send along our tips for how to stay positive in jail. 

Focus on Yourself

While incarcerated, it can be difficult not to succumb to distractions, like the actions and opinions of others. Remind your incarcerated loved one that they should not worry about others and to focus on themselves. Goal setting, staying focused, and working on personal growth will help your incarcerated loved one keep their head up and not succumb to the negativity of others. 

Educate Yourself

An excellent way for your incarcerated loved one to work on themselves and keep a positive mindset is to further their education. Although it varies from facility to facility, many jails connect  with local schools to offer a variety of academic courses, life skills education, and career and technology education for incarcerated individuals. Your incarcerated loved one can participate depending on their academic skills, disciplinary record, level of custody, length of sentence, and program availability at their specific facility. Furthering their education will give your incarcerated loved one goals to accomplish, a sense that they are making good use of their time, and wider opportunities upon their release. 

Work on Your Physical Health

Another way for your incarcerated loved one to make use of their time and keep a positive attitude is by working on their physical fitness. Although it varies, many facilities offer fitness centers, classes, and/or equipment for their inmates to use. Working on their physical fitness can help an incarcerated individual boost their self-confidence, improve their mental health, and improve their physical health. This will not only help their mindset, but reduce the risk of injury or disease while incarcerated as well. 

Work Towards a Goal

Goal-setting gives a person a sense of purpose, direction, and motivation. Although the goals may be different than on the outside, it is important for incarcerated individuals to have something to work towards. These can be goals related to education or physical fitness like mentioned before. However, they can also be goals along the lines of improving artistic ability, writing, keeping good behavior, or working towards having a more positive mindset. Whether big or small, encourage your incarcerated loved one to set specific goals for them to work towards during their time on the inside. 

Stay in Contact with Your Loved Ones

One of the most beneficial ways to keep a positive outlook while incarcerated is to keep in contact with your loved ones on the outside. For the members on the outside, using services like Pelipost to send photos to your incarcerated loved ones can make a huge impact on their mindset. This will help them feel loved, supported, and connected to you during your time spent apart. Phone calls, in-person visits, and letters are also great ways to stay connected during this time. 

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

8 Replies to “How to Stay Positive in Jail”

  1. Letting you’re love one know that have a great support system behind them!! And noooo matter what it may look like doesn’t necessarily mean that this is what it is!! God is the final judge and jury!!❤️❤️

  2. I make sure there is always money on my Sons call account and on his book so he can make store when its time. Simple things we take for granted everyday make a BIG difference when you’re locked up.

  3. I recommend reading the Bible and to seek God and find his peace and comfort and to rest in him. The Bible is the most powerful tool

  4. I’d strongly suggest they get a job ASAP. It’ll take time off their day, plus it gives them the satisfaction of knowing that they’re still able to provide. It also makes it easier on you, not having to send as much. And, that eases their guilt a little bit. It also allows them to be able to get more food, whether they’re having a craving for something, they’re throwing in with the others to make a meal together or because their portions are so small & often inedible in prison, & their simply extremely hungry. They also use it to keep their hair cut nicely, their faces clean & shaved, & for their hygiene needs. They don’t get nearly enough from the prison to last. They also don’t get replacement socks & underwear often enough, so they wind up needing to buy some own their own. Cement floors have a way of breaking shoes down faster too, especially cheap ones, so they often need to replace them before the facility will even consider it. Last, so if $$ is extra tight at home, they can still write, send cards, etc Most facilities don’t get the originals anymore of what we send, but then again if they’re FED, it seems about everything is free for them vs EVERYTHING families of state inmates have to cover.

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