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Questions About Prison

What is prison?
In Connecticut, prison is a place where some arrested and convicted people stay, if staying at prison is part of their consequence for breaking the law, or a rule. If you have a parent in prison you are not alone. 1 in every 14 kids in this country has had a parent in prison. Many of these children are having the same worries, fear and other feelings that you have.

Why do people go to prison?
Some people go to jail, or prison, when they are arrested for breaking the law.

Does the TV really show what prison is like?
Usually it does not.

Questions About My Parent

I don’t know if my parent went to prison or not.
Talk to your caregiver and tell them you would like to know.

How do I know when my parent is getting out of prison?
This is something you need to talk to your caregiver about. It is different for every person in prison.

What will my parent wear?
People in prison wear identical uniforms that look like pajamas or the clothes painters wear. They also have socks, shoes, and jackets.

Questions About Me and My Parent

Can my friend come with me to visit my parent in prison?
You cannot bring your friend to visit, but you can send your parent a photo of you and your friend and tell your parent about your friend and what you like to do together.

Will I be waiting for a while to see my parent?
When you visit your parent you may have to wait for a while. Make sure you follow all the rules you are given (like what you can wear, and what you can and cannot bring in with you) so that you can see your parent.

Can I go to the prison on my own?
You must be at least 18 years old to go on your own. If you are not 18, than you need to have an adult who is on the visitor’s list with you. If you are unsure as to who to go with, ask the adult that you live with. If you are 16 years old or younger, you will need to have two forms of ID to see your parent. Talk about this with the adult you the with.

How often can I go?
Every prison is different. Check the visiting schedule for the prison your loved one is in. The schedule may be confusing so ask your family member or caregiver for help.

Can I hug or kiss my parent?
Only if your parent is allowed to have a “contact visit”. If they are allowed to have contact visits, at the beginning and end of the visit you can briefly hug and kiss. During the visit, you will sit across from each other at a table and cannot touch until saying good-bye. If you are not sure if you are able to touch, ask your parent if it is okay. If your parent is allowed “non-contact visits”, than you will get to see them through a glass partition like a window, and talk using a telephone. You will not get to touch them, though. Sometimes the rules change as to whether a parent can have contact or non-contact visits. Either way, you will get to see and speak with your parent.

What if I want to show my parent things?
You cannot bring anything with you into the prison, but you can tell your parent about it. You might also be able to take a picture of it and send it to them with a letter. Ask the adult you live with about it.