Going back into society after incarceration might feel intimidating. Picking up the pieces of your life and adapting to freedom will take patience and sacrifice.
Preparing for this transition could ease your uncertainty. With the right support, you can gradually rebuild your life and leave your past in the past.
Build a support system
Just because you experience incarceration does not mean you cannot have meaningful relationships. Your experiences behind bars might deepen relationships or provide opportunities for you to reevaluate the relationships closest to you. Ask the prison staff about your options for participating in education courses. Taking advantage of on-site classes can help you network. You could also find relentless support from people in a similar situation as you.
Depending on your situation, your support system might involve people from different parts of your life. For example, the people helping you through your incarceration might include religious leaders, friends, family members, social workers, therapists and your legal team. Having a strong support system can give you encouragement and reassurance as you reenter society.
Identify your goals
Leaving prison with no clear goals for the future might hinder your progression. According to USA Today, 75% of people released from prison will return within 5 years. Your ability to set goals may effectively turn your attention in a positive direction so you can avoid becoming part of that statistic. Some worthwhile goals you may consider include getting a job, furthering your education and volunteering in your community. Keeping busy with behaviors that will help you develop and strengthen key skills will improve your reputation and enhance your marketability in the job market.
Just because you spend time in prison does not mean you have to relinquish the rest of your life. With some hard work and tenacity, you can overcome the past and live a happy and successful future.