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Life after jail or prison can be very overwhelming for ex-convicts. When they are released, they can come out and encounter a whole different world. They may discover that society has entirely transformed, and it has now become a huge that actively discourages people from positively contributing to where everyone seems to fear or resent them and is not willing to help them find their way back to society even after a change of heart, attitude, and/or remorse. This blog article will discuss 10 Best Ways Prisoners Can Reintegrate Into The Community After Release.

An estimated 68% of prisoners who were freed were arrested within three years, 79% within six years, and 83% within nine years, according to the National Institute of Justice. These figures indicate how few ex-offenders can successfully transition. But with the right knowledge, education, and assistance, these numbers may be able to be drastically reduced.

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To help with this, we've gathered some essential guidance on how to reintegrate into society after serving time in jail or prison, whether you have a loved one behind bars or you're a released prisoner seeking to do so. These tips will help to reduce the chances of recidivism for ex-cons.

Here are the 10 best ways that prisoners can reintegrate into the community after they have been released. We are going to divide these 10 tips into two parts because helping prisoners re-enter society is not a task for one individual alone. There is a part the ex-offender would do for themselves, and family and society can also help. So, let us start with what you can do for yourself as a released prisoner.

Part A: What Can You Do For Yourself As An Ex-Offender

1.   Start By Creating Positive Relationships

Many convicts may have relationships that were strained due to their time in jail or prison. They may want to go back and repair such relationships with friends and family. This is a great idea; however, it is important to know what kind of relationships to maintain and which ones are not worth it anymore. The first thing to do to avoid recidivism is to build a relationship with the right people. A good place to start would be with trusted family who is willing to embrace and support you. Being around your family that loves and checked on you while you were in prison can reduce the risk of relapse into harmful and antisocial relationships.

2.   Find A Mentor

Believe it or not, finding a mentor as an ex-criminal is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  Your mentor can be a former prisoner that has re-entered society and started to lawfully thrive in society. The best way is to find an individual that has been in your shoes, someone who understands the struggles that come with re-entering society, an individual that can help you find your footing and provide you with all the necessary wisdom, knowledge, assistance and motivation that you need to live a crime-free life and stay on track.

3.   Learn To Deal With Rejection

Rejection may be part of life but as an individual, with a criminal record, your chances of rejection are increased. You face rejection when looking for housing or employment. however, you have to learn to handle and deal with this rejection properly, effectively, and productively.


This rejection may result in anger and frustration, but you must refuse to allow them to take you back to the life that you have decided to leave behind. You must learn to control your emotions. If you are feeling down, you can speak to people around you like your mentor or your family members. Remember that you are not a failure. Be gentle and forgiving with yourself.

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4.   Partake In Re-Entry Programs

Reentry initiatives place a major emphasis on minimizing obstacles to effective reentry. They help enable determined people who have served their sentence and paid their responsibility to society to compete for employment, find stable housing, care for their families, and give back to their communities. This transitional community assistance for released prisoners can be very helpful, in the sense that it can help ex-prisoners find a community, share their stories, and socially adjust back into society.

You may decide to join a government prisoner reentry program or find one run by a privately owned organization. They can be beneficial as they provide help for released prisoners. Some of these programs even offer assistance and/or placement into housing and employment.

5.   Find Community Resources

 Look for more beneficial resources both before and after you have been released. They could come from governmental or even religious sources. Your worry or concerns about how to restart your life can be reduced by using these resources.

6.   Avoid Going To Places That Can Jeopardize Your Freedom

Your main goals in life after prison should be to maintain your freedom, stay safe, and survive. Hence, you should actively try to avoid going to places that can jeopardize your freedom and cause you to do illegal activities. Being an ex-offender, there is a possibility that being in the wrong places can make you become a suspect when any crimes occur. So, if you are determined to not return to jail or prison, be careful of the people you interact with, the places you go, and the things you do.

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7.   Increase Your Productivity

Having an excessive amount of leisure time may be disastrous for some ex-offenders. Having opportunities for positive productivity can help fight this trend. Even if you have not secured any employment yet, you can participate in volunteer work. You can participate in vocational training or you can even decide to participate in free General Equivalency Diploma and literacy programs. This way you are keeping yourself busy and making progress.

Part B: What Family And Friends Can Do To Support A Released Prisoner


8.   Help Them Deal With Culture Shock

One of the biggest obstacles to social reintegration for offenders, depending on how long your loved one was incarcerated, can be a culture shock. The culture shock can be more severe the longer they were incarcerated.

Your loved one will need to be aware of new terminology that has emerged since they were last released from prison, new technology, the emergence of social media for communication, and newer models of cell phones or cell phones in general. To get used to their new "normal," they will need your assistance.


Being patient with your loved one will go a long way toward easing their culture shock. Give them guidance on making decisions, explaining new cultural customs, and organizing their lives. It can also be helpful if you help your loved one stay abreast of current events and changing laws dealing with incarceration while they’re incarcerated.


9.   Provide The Basic Amenities For Them If You Can

They just came out of jail or prison, and they probably need help before they can go out to start looking for housing and employment and start fending for themselves. If you have a mutually trustworthy relationship, you may be able to provide them with food and shelter if they have nowhere to stay, which can go a long way in ensuring they don’t go back to jail or prison. You can also help or give them guidance on completing resumes, applications, and other paperwork that you are skilled with as well as help to reduce their learning curve by explaining new or updated information they can use to improve their lives.


10.                Be Patient

In the end, ex-prisoners need you to be patient and compassionate with them. Chances are that they are frustrated about a lot of things. You can encourage them to constructively voice their frustrations and communicate their feelings. It may do a lot to reduce recidivism and inspire them to not give up.

Read more about reentry and incarcerated individuals by clicking on the link below: (Disclaimer: Affiliate Advertising. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)

On The Outside: Prisoner Reentry And Reintegration First Edition By David J. Harding (Author), Jeffrey  D. Morenoff (Author), Jessica J. B. Wyse (Author)