As a society, we can forget that the men and women in U.S. prison systems are our parents, siblings, relatives, colleagues, friends, and neighbors. They face a wide range of charges and sentences. Some come from difficult childhoods. Others battle addiction or are serving time for a lapse in judgement. There’s no justifying breaking the law, but everyone deserves an opportunity to get the extra support they need while serving a sentence.
Here are five non-profit organizations in Utah that offer services to inmates.
UPAN’s mission is “To provide a safe and understanding place for families and friends of incarcerated individuals to connect and share their challenges and receive support and information to help them more effectively cope on their prison journey.”
At our very own University of Utah, students are making a difference in prison systems through “on-site higher education, empirical research, and advocacy.” UPEP focuses on supporting incarcerated students and follows best practices laid out by the practices laid out by the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.
The UDC is always looking for volunteers to help with their collection of inmate programs. Learn more to get involved. These programs are service-oriented, skill-based, or intended to improve mental or physical health. For instance, inmates have the opportunity to learn how to crochet warm items for refugees every year. They can also participate in family history research or learn to play a musical instrument.
Another UDC initiative, the Bedtime Stories initiative, invites parents to read a book or sing to their child while a volunteer records them. That volunteer then sends the recording to the inmate’s family to enjoy. The UDC also offers mentorship programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, and a variety of church services.
Enduring life separated from family is truly heartbreaking, but thanks to these organizations, inmates can spend their time behind bars growing and progressing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—if they choose.
For religious inmates, or inmates open to exploring their spirituality, Prison Fellowship is a national non-profit organization that’s active in Utah and “helps restore men and women behind bars.” It also serves inmates’ families and advocates for change in the prison system. This organization believes restoring imprisoned men and women through Gospel teachings will reduce the number of repeat incarcerations, ultimately reducing the $80 billion the U.S. puts into operating prisons.
The lawyers at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat have been representing clients in Utah for decades. They fight for the rights of their clients and are committed to playing a part in improving the laws that exist.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, we will work with you to find a strong defense and help you get the best outcome.
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