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re-entering society after prison

When returning to society after spending time in prison, there is one thing you are going to need a lot of: patience. Patience for how others may treat you, patience for securing jobs, and patience for feeling secure in your new life. Research shows that it takes an average of three years to be fully established back in society after prison. [1]

For those coming home, it can be difficult to describe what re-entering means. Re-entry is a broad term that describes the process men and women go through as they come home from prison. For the nearly 3 million men and women in prison today, the process of re-entry can be incredibly difficult. The world that they are about to enter is completely different than the world they’ve lived in. From technology advances, to social and economic changes, it can be overwhelming. These drastic changes can be difficult to adapt to, making the process of re-entering society dangerous.

As you or a loved one is coming home from prison, its important to create goals. These goals, both short-term and long-term goals, create a plan for re-entering the outside world. Short term goals are things you can accomplish in the next few days or weeks. Long term goals are things you can accomplish over the next few months, or even years. Place these lists somewhere you’ll see them often so they can regularly motivate and remind you what you are working toward. 

helping loved one in prison

You should also have a friend you can rely on for moral support. While you are certainly capable of going shopping and going to interviews and appointments on your own, it never hurts to have a friend who can do these things with you. Some days you’ll need a little extra support and a little push to get out the door to try again. Make sure you have a friend who can do that for you.

Finally, look for recovery or reentry groups to join. Being able to talk about what you are going through with others who understand the challenges you’re facing is very freeing. Not only do these groups grow your network of moral support, but they also connect you with important resources and tools to help you with this transitional stage of life.