Raina Wellman

CANY X CUP Collaboration

Keeping in touch with incarcerated loved ones can be difficult, especially during a pandemic. Made in collaboration with The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and The Correctional Association of New York (CANY), this booklet explains how to keep in touch through visits, mail, emails, and phone calls.

The final pamphlet centers community members' feedback through illustrations emphasizing relationships and the importance of connection, which is what motivates them to work through this complex system.

Incarceration isolates individuals from their families and community. Staying connected to loved ones and your community is important for health and wellbeing, especially for incarcerated people. Family and friends of incarcerated people often struggle to access and understand the rules that explain how to keep in touch with incarcerated loved ones. They often don’t know how to navigate the prison system by themselves or where to go for help. The pandemic has made it even harder to keep in touch with incarcerated loved ones, as prison policies regularly change and communication gets disrupted or delayed.

Since the launch, CANY has received requests for the booklet from incarcerated people and their loved ones. In the words of one community member with years of experience navigating the prison system to keep in touch her incarcerated loved one, "It’s a great resource for people new to the scene because it has crucial points of contact that people often find out about late."

Clockwise from left: Felicia (CANY); Raina (designer); and CUP staff Marisa, Agustín, and Genea.

Felicia (CANY); Raina (designer); and CUP staff Marisa and Genea review an early draft. Community members liked the speech bubbles and stamps shapes, and preferred a more legible typeface and solid background.

Felicia (CANY); Raina (designer); and CUP staff Genea and Agustín review a draft of the cover. Community members liked the collage effect, and wanted more illustrations of people and hands to reflect connection.