Trying to manage a prison relationship can be difficult, especially when they’re still on the inside. But now, they’re finally out of prison and coming back into society. Getting out of jail (prison) is incredibly exciting, but it also requires a lot of work to avoid re-entering. This is why it is so important to help your loved one adjust to life after prison upon their release.
One of the first things a former inmate will notice upon rejoining society is the changes to regular life. We’re referring to things like new technology, changes in communication, or just general changes to regular life. This is often referred to as “culture shock,” and it’s a very real thing for prisoners based on how long their sentence was.
You might be asking, “What is culture shock?” The definition of culture shock is someone becoming overwhelmed because they are exposed to a sudden change in life. So be sure to help your loved one adjust to life on the outside so they do not become overwhelmed.
Talk Mental Health:
Being in prison can do a lot of damage to your mental health. Oftentimes, when rejoining society, former inmates feel unwanted. It is crucial to make sure your partner does not feel this. This is an essential part of overcoming incarceration: to feel supported and wanted. You can show your love and support for your loved one why by reminding them how happy you are that they’re home, reassuring them with compliments, assisting them in finding jobs, and so on. Find what ways you can be supportive and be sure to talk about your partner’s mental health with them.
A great way to avoid the “unwanted” feeling and to lower your chances of re-entering the prison system, is to find ways to be involved in your community. You and your partner should look for opportunities to get involved because they can help create or improve your sense of self-worth. There are many ways to get involved, such as religious organizations, volunteer opportunities, recreational activities, sports, etc. Getting you and your partner involved in these will help show your partner their prison sentence doesn’t have to define who they are going forward.
Assist with Positive Choices:
A major problem that leads to reentering the prison system is returning home to negative influences. As a partner of a former inmate, you want to do everything you can to surround them with positive influences. Whether it’s things like alcohol, negative people, bad neighborhoods, and so on, you want to find ways to reduce these influences or get rid of them entirely. It can be challenging to do so for a variety of reasons, but it can be a make-or-break moment for your loved one. Encourage them to find genuine work, encourage them to be involved in their community, talk to them about being open with their mental health, and do what you can to remove potential traps that could lead to them going back to prison.
Love can do a lot of things for us, use it to help your loved one make the most of their second chance.