Tasks for families:
1. You will be your prisoner's confident, legal aide, research assistant, material supplier and financial backer.
You must be supportive, persistent and resourceful.
2. The most important thing you can do is maintain to contact with and support and love for your prisoner.
Solid family backing and support as well as assistance in developing parole plans are the best help you can be.
3. Letters of support are vital and will be addressed in a separate section.
It is crucial the letters be updated for each hearing and be original, signed documents.
4. Hiring an attorney and/or psychologist for a private evaluation should be considered, if at all possible.
5. You will be the prisoner's eyes and ears on the outside, helping with finding job offers, locations of self-help rehabilitative
groups (AA/NA) and when they meet.
6. Help find and provide books on self-help, correspondence education courses, even books for book reports as addressed above.
7. Help with short and long term parole plans, education enrollment, finding and securing medical assistance and any benefits
the prisoner may be entitled to on release, these can include VA benefits, SS payments and documentation.
Check with the California Controller’s unclaimed funds website; a surprising number of inmates have monies owned them
being held by the Controller’s unclaimed funds division.
While these funds can’t be sent to someone in prison, they can be accessed once a prisoner is released and can often
be several hundred dollars.
These funds are from unclaimed checks, wages, bank accounts, insurance settlements and the like the prisoner
may have been owed but not collected prior to incarceration.
8. Read transcripts with an unbiased eye and communicate your feeling to your prisoner.
Prisoners would do well to come exude sincerity and maturity, not cockiness and attitude.
9. Contact, contact, contact.
Letters, phone calls, visits are the best way of demonstrating to the board and your
prisoner that you will be there to support them.