This is the moment families have waited for, your loved one is coming home from prison. This new season will be full of many unfathomable emotions. From the joy of walking out of the prison doors, to the challenges of re-acquainting oneself to society, there will be many highs and lows awaiting returning citizens. Without question, your loved one coming home will need your emotional support, guidance, accountability and encouragement to tackle this new life they are stepping into. In the bliss of this new moment, it’s important to plan out ways to help them succeed. This blog will highlight a few ways to help your loved one coming home feel supported and to have a successful re-entry.
Get to know their parole
For most men and women coming home, they will have conditions of parole. It is important they know and follow these conditions to comply with their release. Things such as curfew, job searches, living restrictions, drug tests, etc. may all be requirements. Helping your loved one follow these rules is one of the best ways you can help them stay in compliance with their parole and avoid any unintended violations.
Financial assistance can come in many forms. From clothes, housing and backpay on things such as child support and past due bills and fines; these can be huge barriers in one’s ability to start afresh. Fortunately, there are many organizations that can help with these. As you are planning for their return, reach out to some re-entry organizations near you to see how they may be able to help.
This may be one of the most challenging parts of re-entry. As you will soon discover, companies are leery of hiring returning citizens. Although many companies are much more open to hiring returning citizens, it can be very discouraging to be turned down from a job because of one’s past.
As you help them find a job, look for places that can assist in the search. These organizations help find places willing to hire returning citizens and sometimes can connect them with resources such as CDL and other certificates to help them get back on their feet.
Identify future needs
Whether it’s a friend or a family member, planning for their return home means thinking about their future needs. Make no mistake, returning citizens will have many future needs. Some of these needs are practical in nature but may get overlooked. Needs such as housing, employment, transportation, therapy, assistance can all become crucial needs. As you prepare for your loved one to return home, be sure to identify some things they will need.
There are many nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping men and women get back on their feet after prison. Take time to locate some near the area they are returning to. Before they come home, reach out to them to see how they may be able to help their future needs.
Build a support system
This new season will come with many highs and lows. It is nearly impossible to imagine without being in their shoes; therefore, it’s crucial to have a support system for them. This support system will help them keep focused on their new life and avoid any pitfalls that may come their way. These support groups may include things such as AA meetings, prison re-entry groups or accountability partners.
In order to re-enter society, your loved one coming home from prison will need you now more than ever. The feeling of returning home can be like that of a new birth, freeing and terrifying. Being there for them will mean committing to helping them find employment, housing and helping them as they get back on their feet again. Let them feel welcomed.