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.
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.
A: What Can You Do For Yourself As An Ex-Offender
Start By Creating Positive Relationships
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.
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.
Learn To Deal With 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
Image Source: Pixabay
Image Source: Pixabay
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
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.
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.
Image Source: Pixabay
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
Help Them Deal With Culture
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.
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.
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)