Have you ever thought about how life goes after getting out of prison? What are the problems these people face, and how can they adjust back into society? If yes, then you have landed at the perfect place. Here we will tell you all about life after prison and how one can manage such situations.
Adjusting back into society after being in prison entails a lot of difficulties. One might not only have issues getting accepted by their families, but they may also face rejection by society. Often they won't be able to get jobs and a quality life.
Reentry challenges can be a bit tough to deal with; however, with the right reentry programs and guidance, you can make the process smooth. First, let's look at some of the possible issues that can arise with the reentry to society after release.
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Challenges Faced By Inmates During Reentry Into The Society
An ex-prisoner can face different challenges when he returns to society after incarceration. These challenges can vary at different levels. Here we will explain how each and every aspect of life can be affected by going to prison.
Challenges Faced At Individual Levels
Here the challenges are mostly related to the individual himself, and the reentry challenges for these people are far more complex than we can think of. The person has to face the judgemental society and find a new job or get back to work. They also need to readjust to the new rules, technology, and social challenges that changed during their prison time.
At individual levels, there can be possibilities that the prisoner might have limited education or work experience. It will make it difficult for them to readjust to society and get a stable job.
Due to stigma, they might get rejected in many places, like bars, offices, clubs, gatherings, etc. They need to prepare themselves mentally for rejection and believe time will heal everything.
Challenges Faced Within Families
These challenges are mainly related to groups or primarily families. So, when someone is sentenced, they have to spend a specified time in prison. During this time, he is not in constant connection with the outside world.
However, it also depends on the crime committed whether the prisoner can be allowed to see their loved ones or not. Prisoners who maintain consistent contact with their family members during their sentence might have a lower recidivism rate.
The family members often reject ex-Prisoner's after prison; they think of them as a financial burden and are unwilling to support them. This can lead to many other problems for a person who wants to get back to everyday life.
Challenges Faced In Job Life
Unfortunately, the challenges here are some of the most difficult ones to overcome. A person who comes out of prison might not have a good time finding a job, and people in their previous workplace might try to avoid them because they committed a crime.
This ex-prisoner might not be able to get a good job, a proper package, Or government support packages. There are additional restrictions, too, like not being able to get a credit card or loan. You might also not become eligible to open a business or register a company or become a director in an existing company.
Potential Restrictions In Society After Release
Reentry challenges await the prisoner as soon as he is out of prison after serving his time. Here are some of the most common problems a person can experience in society once he is released.
Parole is the most common post-release restriction that ex-prisoners often face. Parole can vary depending on the severity of the crime, the behavior of the prisoner, and the state's rules and regulations.
Most common parole restrictions are confined to a specific geographic area or cannot change the residence without legal permission. Other things can include; maintaining a stable job, prohibition of firearms, not visiting bars, and many more.
The main reason for parole is to make sure that the prisoner doesn't commit crimes again.
Another major problem ex-prisoners might face is not being able to find a place to live. Most of the landowners refuse to lend them houses because of the criminal history they have.
Even family and friends might reject staying with them, which is why the government has built many reentry homes or second houses for them. They can easily stay in these places until they are re-settled in society with a proper job and home.
Employment and Business Restrictions
Most of the companies don't allow ex-felons to work for them. So It's better to find a job which doesn't really care about your past. You will also not be able to take business / personal loans.
Not Able To Vote
Felons are not allowed to vote once they are out of prison. While you might think this isn't a serious problem compared to not having a home or job. However, voting is the right of every engaged citizen. To this date, 35 states don't allow their ex-prisoners the right to vote. There are about 12 states that specify the amount of time till the ex-prisoners are eligible to vote again.
We must provide a welcoming environment to x felons who have completed their sentence. They had committed a crime, and they have served for that; now it's our turn to empathize.
The US has some fantastic reentry programs that can be beneficial in easing up the adjustment in society. Let's briefly look at some of these reentry programs.
Ban The Box
Ban The Box is a national campaign working to remove the check box of a criminal record on job applications. This reentry program will possibly help a lot of ex-prisoners get reentry jobs. In 2015, while at Rutgers University, Barack Obama declared that the federal government must support this campaign.
Ride Home Program
It is a reentry program in California that helps ex-offenders get back into their lives. They have this policy that they pick up the inmates just on their release and take them home. From there onwards, they facilitate them in adjusting to their everyday routine life.
Pigeon.Ly is the most important, significantly convenient, and cheaper reentry program. This program ensures that the inmates stay in contact with their families or loved ones. To decrease the chances of crime in the future among the ex-offender, they must maintain stable relationships with their family.
A sentenced felon might have committed a crime in the past because of his unfortunate decisions. We must take care of them because it might eliminate their likelihood of committing the crime again.
The barriers discussed above can make them feel frustrated or even hostile. Remember, No punishment can heal a soul; only love can. And a person can be loved only by his family and friends.
After spending time in prison, getting back to life can be tricky. If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from this time, make sure to support them emotionally. Remember, patience is the key. With the right reentry program, one can overcome all the reentry challenges into society.