Even after serving relatively short sentences, those just released from prison go through a sort of culture shock. For those who have served many years or decades behind bars, “hitting the bricks” after a long prison stint can be completely disorienting.
The biggest threat to former prisoners is recidivism. Returning to a criminal lifestyle while on parole will quickly land them right back in a cell. Below are a few tips to help your loved one successfully reintegrate into society.
Make sure they have the basics covered
Those just released from jail will need suitable places to live, clothing, food and other necessities of life. Typically, their pre-release plan includes coordinating with halfway houses and making sure that relatives’ homes are suitable for them to live in while they serve out their parole.
Help them stay employed
Most parolees must be gainfully employed unless age or disability prevents them from working. If your loved one has a job but lacks reliable transportation to and from their workplace, you can step in and provide rides or cover the costs of rideshare services until they receive their first paychecks.
Maintain a crime- and drug-free environment
If the former inmate will be living with you, insist that all household members refrain from criminal activities and substance abuse. Even having a six-pack of beer in your refrigerator could be problematic to a former inmate who suffers from addiction. It could also violate their parole.
Proper guidance can help avoid parole pitfalls
No one is responsible for another person’s poor choices. But creating a supportive environment can help formerly incarcerated parolees refrain from activities that lead to recidivism.