Monday, May 1, 2017

What to expect when you're expecting a prison term

It's that time of year again. The peonies are about to bloom, the ornate box turtle is out of hibernation, and your clients are headed to prison.

Don't let them go unprepared.

This Thursday, May 4, 2017, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kansas City, Missouri, courthouse, US Probation will be holding its quarterly orientation program for people facing federal prison time. Family and counsel are encouraged to attend. Participants may join by videoconference from Wichita and Topeka.

As we blogged last year, among other things, attendees will learn (or be reminded of):

  • What personal business to take care of before going to prison (utility bills, child support, student loans, pending charges & detainers);
  • How to self surrender;
  • What to take (and what not to take) to prison;
  • What programs are available in prison (educational, vocational, religious, mental health, medical);
  • What to expect with respect to visitation, phone calls, email, etc.; and
  • How federal prisons help prepare clients for release.
At one program last year, a young professional couple who met in a halfway house after each had spent many years in prison spoke about their experiences in an effort to allay the fears of incoming clients and their families. Their stories were encouraging, and their light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel message was punctuated by the fact that they were celebrating the recent purchase of their first home.

Questions? Call US Probation Officer Sara Valdez Hoffer at 913-735-2428.

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