How to Help a Loved One Get Through Their Experience at a County Jail

How to Help a Loved One Get Through Their Experience at a County Jail

When a loved one ends up at a county jail, you may feel overwhelmed. The whole process can seem confusing and stressful with many different rules and regulations. If you've never gone through this experience before, you'll want to know how to help your loved one as best you can. 

While you may feel stressed, it's important to remain calm and collected. A lot of questions might swirl through your head. Is my loved one okay? How can I help them? Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take to help someone in county jail. 

Learning how to survive jail is essential as you assist your loved one through this experience. We'll explain the actions you can take after learning your loved one is in county jail that may help them.

Get a Lawyer for Your Loved One Right Away

Getting a lawyer is one of the most important and crucial first steps you should take after learning your loved one is in county jail. Depending on the charges, there may be a lot at stake. You should make sure they already have a lawyer. If they do not, urge them not to speak to anyone involved in the investigation until they have a lawyer. 

If you can, you may want to consider finding a lawyer for them. In jail, they won't have the same access and resources as on the outside. You may need to research and contact an attorney on their behalf. It's critical in your research of available lawyers that you choose one with specialization in criminal defense and experience in the type of charges your loved one is facing. In some cases, the attorney may go down to the jail right away to speak with them. You'll want to inform the attorney exactly where your loved one is being held, so they can speak together as soon as possible. 

Ensure They Have Resources

If you're wondering how to survive jail, keeping up a positive attitude is important. One of the best things you can do from the outside is to send resources to the defendant's commissary account. Jails provide basic necessities for life, like meals, basic clothing, water, electricity, and plumbing. But extra things, like additional clothes, snacks, paper, and hygiene products aren't freely given to inmates. However, depending on the jail, these resources are available to buy through a commissary fund. 

You'll want to make sure they have the resources they need to get through this experience. Making your loved one's life easier while they are in jail will help keep their spirits up. If you're looking for one of the best ways to help them through this tough time, sending funds to their account is one of the best ways. 


Another way to help your loved one keep up a positive and hopeful spirit is by visiting them. Days inside a jail are monotonous, so seeing a loving face will help them through the day. To visit with someone, you'll want to figure out where they are located and then register to visit. An inmate is allowed a certain number of pre-registered visitors. You'll also need to register any kids you want to bring for visits.

Once at the jail, you'll need to follow all of the rules and dress codes. You'll also need to bring identification in order to visit. The times and rules surrounding visits will vary by jail, so you'll to familiarize yourself with the facility's rules and regulations. It's a good idea to visit frequently, as your loved one will look forward to the break, and will help with their mental health.

Stay up to Date With Their Court Calendar

Keeping your loved one informed of their court calendar is another important way to help them through this tough time. You should try to keep as informed as possible about all things related to their case, including important court dates. Inmates are allowed to email, so you should consider sending them regular updates and any new information or legal research you come across. 

Secure Bail Quickly

Along with making sure they have a criminal defense lawyer, securing bail as quickly as possible is one of the most important actions you should take. Depending on the charges, the price of bail ranges widely. You may be able to afford a cash bail quickly. However, for serious charges like murder, bail is often set to a high amount. If you don't have the kind of cash needed to put up bail for your loved one, you may need to consider alternatives, like bail bonds. 

When you work with a bail bonds company, you'll likely have to pay 10 to 15% of the bail as a fee. Plus, in addition to signing the bond, you might need to give something of value as collateral. If the person doesn't show up to their court dates, you'll be on the hook for their bail money. 

Learning how to survive jail can be stressful for your loved one. It's important to have patience, understanding, and calmness while you speak to them. If you're looking to find the most important ways to help them through this time, getting a lawyer and securing bail is at the top of the list. Additionally, there are ways to help keep up their spirits as they learn how to survive jail. Offering them resources through the commissary and making in-person visits to the jail will help immensely with keeping their spirits up as they await their court dates. For more information on how to help inmates, check out our faqs.