I’m marrying a felon who is in the USA illegally. Will our marriage stop my fiancé from getting deported?

When your fiancé was charged with committing a crime, you thought he would face a court date, a plea deal and a sentence. Because he is also in the country illegally, he could also get deported. An attorney can advise you about an individual case, but in general, getting married after an arrest is sometimes effective in stopping deportation.

It Depends on the Severity of the Crime

The… Read more

What Does Expunging a Record Mean?

In some cases, the actual sentence in a criminal conviction is relatively minor. A fine, a short term on probation and it is over, but what happens after the conviction can be life altering.

More and more employers, landlords and others are turning to public records to discover if a potential employee or tenant has any criminal convictions and if so, declining to move forward with that person… Read more

U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes to Reduce Guidelines for Drug Sentences

Many people believe that America’s decades long, “war on drugs” has created overcrowded prison populations throughout the nation. A recent move by the U.S. Sentencing Commission might be the first step in alleviating that problem for federal prison populations.

The Commission voted to reduce sentencing guidelines for specific, non-violent drug crimes. While the measure will have varying impacts on sentences, the average drug trafficking sentence will be reduced… Read more

Inmate Visitation: They’ve taken my inmate’s visits away. Why would that happen?

It is very hard to get to the prison for a scheduled visit only to be told, they have taken his visits away. You will not be able to see him.  These are some of the reasons this can happen:

He got into trouble: They don’t typically stop visits for small things, but if it’s a greater infraction such as getting caught with a cell-phone, selling drugs, hitting a… Read more

Avoid These Words During a Jail Call

It might feel like your husband’s calls from jail are just between the two of you, but that is not always the case. All calls are recorded. Many facilities then use a computer program to “listen” to the calls and identify those that contain certain words or phrases.

  1. Escape:  The word escape is a trigger for the computer programs and can be misleading

Inmate Visitation Rules: Who can an inmate add to their visiting list?

Outside of federal prison, your husband had lots of friends and family members to socialize with, but now that he has become a federal inmate, the government severely limits who he can and cannot have visit him. The rules are pretty strict and knowing them will help the two of you choose wisely for the approved list.

Federal Bureau of Prisons General Visiting Info

Immediate family members… Read more

Marrying an Inmate

In a perfect world, two people love each other, go to the courthouse and become husband and wife. When he is incarcerated, it becomes more complicated.

Four steps to getting married to an inmate.

  1. Visit in person. It is important to spend time together face-to-face, whether or not you knew him before prison or you met after he was locked up. You both should understand what being

Prison Commissary: 4 Reasons to Put Money on an Inmate’s Account

Jails and prisons are legally responsible for feeding inmates. This doesn’t mean the food tastes good or that there is enough to keep the inmate from getting hungry between meals. Four good reasons exist for putting money on an inmate’s books.

  1. Hunger – Commissary snacks can be purchased for inmates to eat in their cells. Chips, Ramen noodles, candy bars, nuts and sodas are

Affordable Care Act and Inmates

With the Affordable Care Act opening the doors of coverage for single, childless men and women, prisons and jails nationwide are racing to sign inmates up for it. Here are five interesting facts about the ACA and inmates.

A majority of inmates are single, childless males. Signing them up under the plan allows jails and prisons to move millions of dollars of medical payment obligations from counties and states… Read more

Getting an Inmate Exemption for Obamacare: 4 Steps to Take

Anyone who does not have insurance at work or sign up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act will pay a fine through the IRS. There are exemptions from having to sign up and one of those exemptions is being an inmate for any part of the year.

  1. Fill out the incarceration exemption form. It is a fill in

Violation of Probation or Parole: Who to Stay Away From to Stay Free

You are finally out of prison or jail, though you are still being supervised. There are lots of rules to follow but you are determined to succeed. Avoid these three people to further reduce your chance of violating parole or probation and going back inside.

Felons:  Even though you were told not to hang out with felons, it’s easy to get lax and start doing it anyway. After all… Read more

What Happens to My Social Security Retirement Benefits While I am Locked Up?

Wondering what will happen to your social security retirement payments while you are locked up adds stress to an already tense situation. The following facts can help you understand the process.

If you are in jail but have not been convicted, you will not lose your retirement benefits. They will continue to be paid out in the usual manner.

Once you are convicted and begin your jail or… Read more

Benefits While Incarcerated: What does Being in Jail Do to SSI?

Many inmates come into jail content to know that their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will continue being deposited into their account in their absence, but this is not true in most cases.

The good news is if you are going to be in jail for less than a full calendar month, you can breathe easier. Your SSI payments will not be impacted. You don’t have to do anything and… Read more

Prison Pen Pals: How Can I get Friends and family Members to Keep Writing to My Inmate?

Inmates depend on letters. It is one of their most important contacts with the outside world. By making letter writing a fun, interactive activity for friends and family, your inmate will continue to hear his name at mail call.

Make a list: Choose four people for each letter game. Those four will be a team. Put a variety of ages, genders and interests on each team to make the… Read more

Cellphones in Prison: What Happens If You’re Caught?

Your boyfriend got caught with a cell phone in prison. Prisons come down harshly in most of these cases. What happens will depend on several factors including:

How it was used: You can be sure the minute they found him with a cell phone that they confiscated it and went through every incoming and outgoing text, call and photo. They are looking to see if an escape or other… Read more

Qualify for SSI or SSDI While You’re Still Incarcerated

If you believe you’ll qualify for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income and you are incarcerated, there is no legal reason you cannot apply. These are five steps to take in the process.

Notify jail/prison administrators that you wish to apply. There is a pre-release packet that should contain the forms you need. It takes about three months to qualify, so start the process six to… Read more

What Happens in Misdemeanor Court? Five Common Results


  • If you’re found guilty, you will be sentenced, then and there, to jail, probation or a combination of both.
  • Sentences typically include a year of probation, up to a year in jail or a combination of jail time and probation that equal a year.

In Misdemeanor Cases, Long Waits for Elusive Trials

Bound over to felony court.

  • Almost all defendants charged

Inmate Visitation: 4 Things Not To Do During a Prison Visit

You finally get to visit your husband who is in prison. It is lots of nerves and preparation but well worth the trouble. Avoid the following four things so that you don’t get yourself or your husband in trouble.

  1. Bringing in contraband. Not only does the inmate get put on lockdown or charged with a crime for this, you can also be charged with a crime. Even if

Convicted Felon Benefits: 4 Steps to Get Your Social Security Payments Started Again Once You Are Freed

The Social Security Administration didn’t waste any time. Thirty days after your conviction your payments were cut off.

Can I get Social Security benefits if I’ve been convicted of a felony?

While you can’t get those lost payments back, you can probably get your future payments quickly once you are released. Use these steps to get it going.

  1. Find out where your local social

Four Problems With the Federal Incarceration System

  1. Inmates can be sent far away. With state convictions, the inmates are only sent to prisons within the state. The federal system can send an inmate to a prison anywhere in the United States.
  2. No parole. Federal inmates are not eligible for parole unless they were convicted before 1989.
  3. Frequent moves.  The federal system is known for frequently moving inmates