I’ve been writing about visiting in federal prison since I was in federal prison! So, I speak from personal experience that family visits in federal prisons are an invaluable lifeline. These visits go beyond mere connection; they offer a chance for us to showcase the progress we are making during our time in federal prison. With this in mind, I encourage my fellow prisoners to embrace the importance of setting the proper tone during these visits.

You should cancel the visit if you are unwilling to express gratitude and set the right tone.

Recognizing Family Sacrifices While Visiting in Federal Prison:

Family visits come with their own set of challenges. Our loved ones incur expenses for travel. They may have to miss work or rearrange their schedules, and visiting us takes an emotional toll. Acknowledging and appreciating these sacrifices is crucial to establish the right tone during the visit. Ultimately, we should focus on our families, not solely on ourselves.

Time as a Precious Resource:

Time spent with loved ones in federal prison is limited, typically confined to Fridays and Saturdays, not every week. Most families can only see us once or twice a month. Therefore, we must make the most of this valuable time. Rather than dwelling on our past choices, we should seize this opportunity to connect with our families, create lasting memories, and strengthen our relationships. Let us focus on the positive aspects of our lives and the opportunities we plan to pursue.

Emotional Support and Encouragement:

Our families serve as our most vital support system, providing us with love and encouragement. Expressing gratitude for their unwavering support is a way to acknowledge their significant role in our lives. By maintaining a positive and appreciative attitude during visits, we enhance the emotional connection and reassure our loved ones that we are grateful, resilient, and committed to emerging from this experience stronger than ever.

It was hard to see prisoners leave visits with regrets over their actions, especially when they knew it would be months before they visited again. We already feel enough regret.

Understanding How Visits Impact the Family:

Imprisonment not only affects us but also takes a toll on our families. The separation, stigma, and emotional strain of seeing a loved one behind bars can overwhelm them. By recognizing their hardships and expressing genuine appreciation for their support, we alleviate some of their burdens and strengthen the bonds that hold us together as a family.

As we navigate the challenging journey of imprisonment, it’s key to set the right tone during family visits in federal prison. By expressing gratitude for the sacrifices made by our loved ones, using our time wisely, and focusing on building positive connections, we can foster stronger bonds and alleviate some of the burdens faced by our families.

Remember, these visits present an opportunity for growth, understanding, and love, bringing us closer to home in more ways than one.


Justin Paperny