Prisoner Reentry

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There are currently two million Americans who are incarcerated in our country’s prison system at this time. Each year there around roughly 650,000 released (Prisoner Reentry). These individuals are faced with many challenges when reintegrating themselves back into society. This is a very difficult time for them and often times things do not go as everyone planed. This time period is filled with disappointments, whether it be to the parole officers, their families or themselves. Leaving prison to reenter the world can cause a lot of confusion and emotions for the ex-offender. Being free leaves the responsibility up to them to make sure that they succeed in life and do not make the same mistakes twice.

The first thing they need to do is develop a plan. Ex-prisoners come home and have lots of goals and hopes that they believe they can fulfill. They may want to start the business that they always dreamed of. They may remember the times when they wanted to graduate from school. Maybe they want to reconnect with their family and friends. Often times the prison setting generates a sense of urgency in those people. Short term goals are often better to begin with as long term goals may be more difficult to accomplish and may end in frustration. If they feel the need to get help achieving these goals there are many programs out there to assist them. There is mentoring programs, colleges, business development programs and other non-profit organizations (Community Based Corrections).

Going down the wrong path and ending back up where they started is controlled by the prisoner. It is then their responsibility to take control of their own actions. Parole and probation officers are their to guide them when they are trying to get a new start, they are not there to give them a hard time, just to help them adjust and do the right thing. Their freedom is completely under their control (Prisoner Reentry). If they abide by the law as they should then they will have no problems. So it is evident they the power is in the hands of the ex-prisoner.

It takes a lot of work and they have to be willing to tackle anything that comes along. Setbacks are a natural part of that process. Often after returning to their everyday life they feel like they are out of the loop. They feel like they have missed something and they need to catch up. Everything around them has changed and it’s difficult to accept and adjust to. As said earlier, frustration is often a common reaction. Frustration and disorientation are inevitable. But each prisoner must learn to adjust and deal with the process to be able to transition back into society. Making extremely difficult commitments are not the best decision to make when they are just exiting the prison system they are accustomed to. That is not the time to make major life decisions (Correctional Leadership). This is more of a time to be in touch with themselves, a time to reflect, focus on the transition and fix things between the prison life and the life that they are trying to live now.

Having a spiritual grounding is always helpful. This allows for the ex-prisoner to become part of a supportive community to help eliminate the possibilities of them slipping back into bad territory. It allows for the ex-prisoner to be involved in positive events and activities. Most of the time when they become involved in religious functions they build accountability. They become more considerate, thoughtful and law-abiding. In my opinion if they were faced with an obstacle or unwanted task they have something to turn to. They have a greater strength behind them. Although this is a positive prospective, there is always they chance of slippage, it is almost inevitable. Making the transition is challenging.

Secondary education has also been modified to reflect the sprit of reentry. Education tends to heighten the ex-prisoners self esteem and instill morality. Often times they face many more...
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