Prisoner Reentry: What It Takes to Succeed
Currently, there are more than 2 million Americans in the prison system of our country. Of these, about 650,000 copies are produced annually. This population will face problems related to reintegrating themselves back into society. The task is complex and can be filled with frustration, confusion and many other emotions. Unfortunately, many of those who are released, can not successfully go to freedom and be behind bars; therefore, a high frequency of recidivism.
Based on extensive professional and personal experience, I identified several things that new prisoners should know to increase the likelihood that they will remain free and succeed in life. This advice is designed to help not only ex-prisoners, but also their families and support programs that work with them.
1. Everything is possible, but the time table and the plan of common sense are vital.
Former prisoners come home and have a number of high aspirations. Regardless of whether he starts his business after graduating from school, re-joins the family, travels or becomes a millionaire, a realistic schedule and plan is vital. Prison experience often gives rise to a sense of urgency to those who go through it. It is clear that the mentality that accompanies a new prisoner is often counterproductive for achieving his goals and objectives.
Former prisoners should have short-term, medium-term and long-term goals that contribute to the realization of their goals. Preferred are small steps that generate results, as opposed to large ones, which can result in frustration. Assistance is available in developing schedules and plans through local mentoring programs, colleges, business development programs, and other non-profit organizations.
2. The door to the prison is controlled by the prisoner. Parole and parole employees are not enemies.
The freedom of an ex-prisoner is completely determined by what he or she does. No one is responsible for what happens to them. Thus, power is in the hands of a former prisoner. Terms and conditional release are bound by the rules and regulations. The only way to return a former prisoner to prison is if he or she violates any conditions for his release. Regardless of whether the “rules” seem small or not, they must be strictly observed.
Those who have recently been released from prison often view their parole and probation officers as their enemies, whose sole purpose is to send them to prison. This is not the case. These officers are not responsible for the actions committed by former prisoners; rather, they respond. In many cases, former prisoners do not use the services and services provided through their parole officers and release on parole. Of course, there are differences between these officers; not everyone can offer the same level of support. However, a former prisoner will never know if there is any help if he or she does not ask.
3. A number of adjustments are required over time so that ex-prisoners can recover themselves. Failures are a natural part of this process.
Former prisoners existed in prison, and life outside continued without them. When they return to society, they often feel insecure. Their families, friends, and neighborhoods have changed. Technologies are different, old and familiar stores are out of business, replaced by new and unfamiliar chains. Nothing like a prison experience. Whether boarding a bus with bus fares that were valid a few years ago, or found that an old friend is connected with her boyfriend, frustration and a sense of disorientation are inevitable. They are part of the adjustment process that every former prisoner must follow along the path to a free society.
Former prisoners should spend their time and get used to freedom. This may take several weeks, if not months. This adjustment time is necessary before making any new and serious commitments. The first few weeks and months out of prison are not the time to engage in business processes with old friends, get married, make major financial obligations (for example, buy a new car or house) or make other important life decisions. Rather, it is time to think, focus on a successful transition and close the gap between the prison and where it is now located.
4. Spiritual justification is good.
My personal opinion is that spiritually soundly beneficial, especially for those who get out of prison. First, it allows a former prisoner to become part of the support community. Moreover, he can connect an ex-prisoner to a set of regular, stable and positive events and activities that can contribute to increased accountability. Most religious traditions encourage their adherents to be the best people who are attentive, thoughtful, reflective and law-abiding. In times of challenge or trouble, a former prisoner has a source of strength, guidance, and shelter to which to turn. This can positively affect the life of an ex-convict.
5. Set up an accountability plan and stick to it.
If former prisoners do not set markers for measurement, it may be slippage, if not inevitable. Even those who have the best intentions can end up in prison in the absence of a specific plan that will install checks and balances. On the contrary, accountability can and should prevent recidivism and other undesirable consequences.
There are several ways to establish responsibility. First, internal accountability includes the choice of two meetings / events that the ex-prisoner attends weekly. This can be a Bible study, reading a book in a library, etc., which are performed sequentially. It is time for a former prisoner. Secondly, external responsibility is related to the obligations of time to others. These can be regular meetings / events with one or two people. It is useful to meet with coffee, prayer, movies and other positive actions with stable people. When an ex-convict himself loses these weekly appointments, this is a good sign that he or she does not know and needs to be re-concentrated. When a person is first released from prison, it seems that he or she has unlimited time. After adding jobs, families and other obligations, free time is reduced and may crowd out the scheduled reporting time.
The transition from a prisoner to a free citizen is difficult, but not impossible. Reviewing these five points will smooth the process.