My sister is in prison, any support suggestions?


Hello everyone,

I haven’t been on in a while. My sister was arrested last September for identity theft to support her meth habbit. She has been sentenced to an out of state federal prison and was transported there a few weeks ago. When we would talk, she said she figured she would be out by next March, then it was April, now it’s looking like July.

I know what she did was VERY wrong and she takes full responsibility. When I tried to appologize for not seeing the signs and getting her help, she started crying and said to stop it, that it wasn’t my fault, that she is an adult and knew what she was doing was wrong.

So, here I am stuck without my sister for at least another year. It’s been almost a year since I have even seen her. We talk on the phone occasionally and write back and forth. Is anyone aware of somewhere I can get support from other family members who have loved ones in prison? I know that considering thousands of families have loved ones fighting in the war and I applaud them. Maybe one of my problems is that my sister is in prison instead of serving our country. I’ve been very sad the last few days and could really use some support. My hubby is wonderful and very understanding but sometimes it helps to converse with someone who knows what a person is going through.

I hope this isn’t an inappropriate post.

Thank you and may God bless you all,


Thare’s nothing inappropriate in someone asking help or encouragement regarding her sister!

You said: “I’ve been very sad the last few days and could really use some support. My hubby is wonderful and very understanding but sometimes it helps to converse with someone who knows what a person is going through.”

I hope that you will receive some helpful responses from your own fellow Americans,
but having sisters of my own I know how difficult it is to be separated from a loved sister just by distance, let alone a difficult situation like your sister is in. It must be so painful for you to be unable to help and comfort your sister in the way you’d like to, and to know she is with strangers who don’t love her as you do. I know it seems like such a waste of precious time for your sister, and I can only pray that God somehow uses it to give her strength and wisdom she might have lacked before. Please God she will overcome her meth habit and be able to come out to a healthy lifestyle.

It is such a long time, but maybe you could imagine and plan how you will welcome her when she leaves prison.

I will keep you and your sister in prayer, Trishie:grouphug:


Upon doing inverstigation for some other family members, I came upon this information:
*]Your sister’s prison should have a web site. The web site usually has information on what you can send, what you can’t, a preferred vendor of care packages in some cases, etc.
*]Some prisons have limited email (Who knew?).
*]The family member who did time wants everybody to know that cigarettes are not used as money in prison, but to be careful giving inmates money.
*]Also good stuff to send: Brand name products, care stuff, toothpaste like Rembrant, brand name deodorant.
*]A rosary, Bible or other religious goods if she’ll take them.[/LIST]Catholic Daughters of America does prison ministry in some areas.

And get some heavy-duty yellow plastic ribbon to tie around those old oak tress when she comes home. If you listen to the words of the golden olide by Tony Orlando and Dawn, the lyrics indicate the fella singing is getting oout of prison.


:gopray: Praying for you and your sister.


Call the Diocese where the Prision is located and find the contact info of the Priest who ministers there. Reach out to him and find out what you can do to assist that ministry.

Remember, visiting the prisioners is a corporal work of mercy - we Catholics are called to do this.

If you cannot visit in person, call and mail, pray for her.

You might also want to check into Kairos.


I feel your pain. My 19 yo sister is not in prison, but she is a meth addict. Lies, steals, makes me wonder if I’ll get burglarized again(though I don’t think it was her as she knows I don’t have much worth stealing, she’d more likely go for our parents), has had an abortion, makes me wonder if she’ll at some point decide to instead have a baby, go on welfare, and raise him/her in a meth lab, etc. Couch-hops on her binges and of course gets herself fired, pretends to be functional for awhile when she runs out of money, then goes on another binge as soon as she gets a paycheck from her next job. She’s briefly been in jail on minor charges but not prison, but I fear it’s a matter of time, as she regularly commits drug-related felonies(definitely posession, might be selling, probably steals etc.). She’s been on the wrong side of drug raids at her friends’ homes multiple times but never been caught provably in possession. And the worst part is that while jail/prison isn’t a terribly safe place, it’s safer than the places she likes hanging out. Her friends are positively terrifying. Any suggestions on how to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped? She’ll probably die of either the drug’s effects or of the related violence if she doesn’t get herself arrested for anything serious.


Pray, have Masses offered for her, pray, offer sacrifices on her behalf. She can turn down you, she can turn down other people, but it’s mighty hard to turn down God (although some people manage).

Too many people have to hit rock bottom before they will seek help.

You are not alone (as if!).


I have a close relative who is doing a lot of time in a max state prison so I speak from experience. Visit if you can. Find out the rules first, of course. Then send some money as often as you can. I send my relative a money order (it can’t be in any other form) regularly so he can purchase instant coffee, stamps, an ice cream, toiletries, etc. Prison issue is minimal and the commissary is very expensive. Write often, even if there is little to say. The sense that someone on the outside cares is very important. If you send something, find out what is permitted and what is not. It various a lot from prison to prison. Books, for instance, often must come directly from an approved store. A radio is always valued.


Offer this suffering and anquish over your sister to Jesus to be incorporated into His sacrifice for those who are imprisoned in sin.

As harsh as this seems, it is possible that being in prison is protecting your sister from something more horrible that might happen to a meth addict on the streets. If she were not in prison she might be dead, or doing things that cause great harm to herself and others.


You are all so wonderful! Just replying to my post has made me feel less alone and that others do understand. I will use all of your suggestions (I’ve already been praying every day for her). Thank you so very much for your kind words and encouragement.

May God bless you all! :grouphug:


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