Originally Published February 25th, 2020
Life after prison can be hard and frustrating, especially during the transition phase. There are times that people may not fully accept you once you get back to the community. The stigma may always be there.
That’s why it’s important to know how you can adjust and have a better life after serving time in jail. Here are some tips on how you can prepare for adjusting to life after prison.
MANAGE ANGER ISSUES
Prison walls are built with violence and fear. So, we understand that your aggression and anger are your only methods of protection.
However, these attitudes are not acceptable outside prison. You will need to find a way to control this anger so you will not push your loved ones away from you.
EXPECT A CULTURE SHOCK
Being locked up in prison for so long can make you feel left out once you get back home. Change is the only constant thing, so you need to expect that things may be unfamiliar to you once you go out.
You may notice new technology, new trends in fashion, and even a new language once you get out of jail. You may need to ask for some guidance from your loved ones for you to keep up with the cultural norms.
DEVELOP A PLAN
When you go out of prison, you need to realize that you need to be independent and provide for yourself.
There are a lot of things you need to consider like housing, clothes, food, and other necessities. You need to have a plan on how you can provide yourself those things, and by that, you need to have a job.
Plan well on how you can get a decent job because you have a criminal record. Some programs can help you team up with different employers and get a job despite your past.
Life after prison can be difficult, so try to be realistic when setting expectations for yourself. You can’t expect yourself to just pick up where you left off. Be more patient with yourself because you will be able to keep up, eventually.
EXPECT REJECTIONS AND DEAL WITH IT
Rejections are part of our lives. May it be a person who was once a prisoner or not, rejections will come in many forms. So expect that rejection is not uncommon, and it should not be a hindrance for you to have a better life after prison.
Learn how to accept the rejection, move on, and continue to improve yourself. Keep reminding yourself that you’re not a failure and that you should be easy on yourself.
Turn your frustrations to motivations. Your goal is to change and be the better version of yourself, so keep moving forward. (Related: Joe Guerrero: From Prison to Youtube Sensation)
Getting imprisoned will surely have a great impact especially after your release. Readjustment to your daily life is challenging and somehow can be frustrating. With lots of judgment that you may get from others, depression can definitely occur.
Your loved ones’ emotional support can help, but you can also seek medical advice from a professional.
JOIN A SUPPORT GROUP
Joining a prison support group while adjusting to life after prison can be helpful. People who have experienced incarceration can support you in many ways. You can get more understanding of the people who have the same experience as you do.
Although your friends and family can always support you, former inmates know where you’re coming from. They can help you get through the tough times. (Related: How to Prepare For a Loved One’s Reentry)
These are just one of the many ways on how to prepare for adjusting to life after prison.
This may work for you, but it still depends on how you’re willing and motivated to have a better life after prison. You don’t have to be discouraged if things don’t happen the way you planned it to be.
Remember, some things take time, and you will have yours. (Related: How a Convicted Felon Became a Triathlon Champion)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Franchette Agatha Jardin believes that everyone has the capacity to help those who are in need. She writes blogs about issues and news surrounding those in prison in the hopes of restoring a little extra faith in humanity.