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Starting Over: How Former Inmates Can Reintegrate Into Society

Life After Prison

When most people think of prison, they imagine a dark and dreary place where people are stuck for the rest of their lives.

Some offenders would find solace in reading prayers from the Bible Keeper, trusting in God completely while hoping for that one day when they would finally be free.

However, for those who were formerly incarcerated, life after prison can be quite different because it can be a time to reassess and rebuild their lives.

People today have a plethora of avenues to consider after being released from jail. Let’s figure that out and how to enable anyone to start over!

Struggles Of Reintegration

Source:politico.co

Employment Barriers

Ex-convicts often face discrimination when trying to find a job. Many employers are reluctant to hire someone who has been in prison, no matter how much they have changed. It can make it hard to support oneself or one’s family.

According to a new research issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, of the more than 50,000 inmates released from federal prisons in 2010, 33% found no job at all over four years after release, and no more than 40% of the released inmates was employed at any one time.

Family Strain

When a family member is incarcerated, it can put a strain on the whole family. It will be continuous when that family member is released from prison, so most ex-convicts often struggle to find their place.

Lack Of Social Support

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On top of being required to keep working or face reincarceration, they have to struggle just to access social assistance and make ends meet in a labor market that is more unfriendly to them than ever before. If you think about it, this set of demands is almost equivalent to a lifelong sentence.

Without adequate social support, ex-convicts are at a higher risk of recidivism. It puts them at risk of further criminal activity and adds to the burden on the justice system.

Mental Health Problems

Ex-convicts often suffer from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health problems. These mental health issues can make it difficult to find and keep a job, maintain healthy relationships, and stay out of trouble with the law.

Where To Start Over After Imprisonment

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Leaving prison can be extremely overwhelming. You are thrust back into society with little to no support and are expected to pick up the pieces of your life. So, where do you start?

A criminal conviction can hamper many aspects of life, making it difficult for people attempting to get back into society after being released from prison to move forward.

If you’re looking to start over after imprisonment, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success.

  1. It’s important to create a solid support system of family and friends who can help you with your reentry into society.
  2. You’ll need to find housing and employment—both of which can be difficult with a criminal record.
  3. It’s crucial to stay positive and motivated throughout the entire process.

Helpful Tips For Former Prisoners To Reintegrate

You may still be wondering how to reintegrate back into society. Here are some helpful tips to make the transition smoother.

Have Strong Faith

One of the most important things that can help former prisoners is to have strong faith.

Faith can give them the strength to face these challenges and overcome them. It can also provide a sense of community and support that they may not find elsewhere. They are less likely to commit new crimes and more likely to find jobs and housing.

It also gives them hope for the future and a sense of purpose. There’s a really helpful site to help you hear God and ask for His guidance.

Rebuild Relationships

Source:prisonfellowship.org

Rebuilding relationships with family and friends may be one of the hardest parts of facing the uphill battle of integration into society.

Ex-prisoners may have been out of touch for years and may have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding the feelings of others.

No matter what the situation, rebuilding relationships is a crucial part of reintegrating into society after incarceration. It can help former prisoners feel more connected and supported and can provide them with a much-needed sense of belonging.

Evaluate Your Strengths And Weaknesses

It is important to take the time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. It will help you determine what kind of support you need to successfully reintegrate into society.

Take some time to assess your skills and interests. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Consider pursuing education or training in areas that interest you. It can help make the transition to life outside of prison more manageable and give you a sense of purpose.

Consider Assistance Programs

Some programs and organizations correspond with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Probation Department within organized agreements, which can help former prisoners navigate the challenges of reentry. These resources can provide valuable support and assistance as you work to rebuild your life, such as housing and job placement assistance, while others provide counselling and support groups. There are also programs specifically for women and children of prisoners.

By taking advantage of these resources, former prisoners can begin to rebuild their lives.

Maintain Physical And Mental Health

Source:nbcnews.com

To successfully make the transition, former prisoners should maintain their physical and mental health.

Former prisoners often have a hard time finding a job, which can lead to financial stress. It can lead to poor nutrition and housing insecurity, which in turn can lead to poor physical health. Lack of regular medical care can also exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions.

And to reduce the risk of mental health problems, former prisoners need to stay connected with family and friends, find stable housing and employment, and get regular mental health care.

Hope For A Successful Future

It is estimated that about 650,000 individuals are released from prisons in the United States every year. That’s a lot of people starting over, and the odds are stacked against them. Ex-convicts face many challenges, including finding a job, housing, and rebuilding relationships.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are some organizations and programs that are dedicated to helping ex-convicts successfully reenter society. With hard work and determination, anyone can turn their life around.

If you or someone you know is struggling after being released from prison, know that there is hope for a successful future. There are people and resources available to help you make a fresh start.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com