Five things everyone should know before your loved one comes home from prison.
From the moment your loved one steps out the prison doors, their life will be different. As peculiar as the goings on of prison life may seem, so may the world outside of prison may feel. From cultural changes, to technology advances and even shifts in one’s community. There are many things that will impact the life of returning citizen. As a loved one with someone coming home from prison, you have a profound opportunity to make the most impact on your loved one’s coming home.
It has been said that the first 72 hours is the most critical part of one’s re-entry journey. From securing housing, to keeping good company, to getting the support they need, there are many reasons why they will need you. Here are a few things to keep in mind as they prepare to come home.
Make a Plan – No doubt your loved one has dreamed about the day they come home. While it can be a powerful motivation, it’s not enough to just dream about it. Writing a gameplan for re-entry is one of the most important first steps to re-entry. From finding housing, a support system, securing transportation, and keeping in touch with the parole board, there are many things to keep track of. Make some time to talk with your loved one about their re-entry plan. Click here to read more.
Stay Connected – Everyone’s path to re-entry is unique, yet everyone will face their share of challenges. There will be days where the setbacks, disappointments and adversity may seem insurmountable. From facing rejection of peers, to missed out opportunities and career barriers, don’t give up, that’s when they will need you most.
Celebrate the Small Things – Yes there will also be hard days, but there will also be days of incredible joy and happiness. Re-entry is a new opportunity. Sharing these opportunities with your loved one will create a more positive experience for your loved one. In fact, being part of their support system will give them the best chance to feel safe in their new environment and not recidivate.
Be Consistent – Consistency is one of the best ways you can help your loved one re-enter society. As much as they will need a cheerleader, they will also need to establish healthy routines. Helping your loved one set and maintain clear boundaries will create a map for their success. From helping them be accountable to their parole officer, to keeping curfew, there are many ways you can help your loved one come home to a safe environment.
Finding Support – There are many non-profits committed to helping men and women come home from prison everyday. These organizations can help with things such as housing, legal support, financial assistance, and provide help starting a new career. There are many opportunities in your backyard you may not even be aware of. Don’t be afraid to seek the assistance of these organizations.
There is no one better suited to help your loved one than their family. Despite the barriers society may have on re-entry, there are more opportunities than ever for the men and women coming home from prison. Take time to help your loved one take their best step forward as they come home from prison.