Women who are involved with a man in prison, rather girlfriend, married or friend here is a message for you. I want to first speak for the hundreds and thousands of men who are being supported by a woman in any type of way. THANK YOU! Incarcerated men for the most part have pride issues and trust me if your holding one down he thanks you more than you know. Now from experience and from my perspective its important that women in general dealing with an incarcerated man that is worthy of their love, attention and time and is doing the right things while incarcerated. That you show him through actions that you have his back. Being free or close to being released is what ALL incarcerated men want. They have to get ready to deal with parole/probation, halfway house, adjusting to family and friends, finding employment, re-entering society and a long list of important things that run through their minds 24/7. The reality of starting from nothing and being prepared to hear “No we are not going to hire you due to you having a criminal record” is some scary shit. I have mentored hundreds of incarcerated men and do you know what the #1 thing said to me when talking to men who have violated and came back to prison? “Leonard I didn’t have the right support system when I got out.” They all tell me their family and friends and most important the women in their lives weren’t ready for what was to come once they got released from prison. So Ladies here are some ways to be the best support system to an incarcerated man coming home:
#1: Understand the mans parole, probation and halfway house conditions and rules. If he’s close to coming home work with him and know everything he can and cant do If the man has some time to go still encourage him to be his best and learn all he can so he can have a successful re-entry back to society.
#2: Get over his past. He made mistakes but if he’s worth your time and investment than let that man know you have his back through your actions. Also don’t ever throw in his face what got him locked up or his past lifestyle. Make sure communication is always 100%.
#3: Work with him not against him. Very important ladies you cant be a mans support system if you continuously break him down or don’t do what you say your going to do. If your in his life its a must you deal with his reality or move on. There is no in-between.
#4:Communication with him. Rather letters, emails, visits, photos, always let him know your thinking of him. “Hey baby how’s your day?” means a lot to someone locked up. Trust me you don’t know the half of what really an incarcerated man goes through while in prison. Hearing those 5 words is the sunshine in his dark world.
#5: Make him a better man. This goes back to the bible: “A woman was created to be a mans help mate and supporter”. Make him understand your in his life for all the right reasons and you got his back.
Ladies I could go on and on but the five ways to show support for an incarcerated man I listed is a must. Holding him down, loving him and being there for him can become hard, damn hard but nothing in life meant for you will ever come easy. In closing be mindful, that prison is designed to break someone down mentally and emotionally. Keep all childish drama away from him and do your best, that’s all anyone in prison could ever ask of anyone!