How To Help Your Loved One Adjust To Life After Incarceration


There are several reasons why 44% of inmates experience mental health issues. The person who has been incarcerated and their loved ones may find adjusting to life after incarceration challenging. Admittedly, this may be a tough situation, and you may wonder how you can support them as they acclimate to life outside prison or jail. Fortunately, this isn’t unattainable. Here are some strategies for supporting a loved one’s transition to life. 

  • Consult a specialist if necessary

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The transition to life after jail can be challenging.  Even if they didn’t have traumatic experiences, the theme of violence and fear could still run through their minds. Therefore, professional help may be needed to help them overcome these. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for expert assistance if you or a loved one needs assistance adjusting. Numerous resources are available to aid individuals in reintegrating into society, and a qualified counselor can provide direction and support. 

  • Advocate for them if they experience prejudice

It’s not uncommon for former inmates to experience discrimination and segregation due to their status. This can be obvious when they seek employment or attend social gatherings. Therefore, advocate if they experience prejudice or other difficulties when reentering society. Assist them in navigating the frequently challenging process of readjusting to life outside of prison. You can familiarize yourself with the state’s record sealing law to protect your loved one. This way, you will better understand what details regarding your loved one’s criminal history are known to the public and what information is not.

  • Encourage effective coping skills

Making the transition easier can be accomplished by learning good coping mechanisms for stress, such as exercise, hobbies, or hanging out with close friends and relatives. You also want to find ways to support their mental health and relieve anxiety when necessary. Reiterating your love and gratitude for them is also essential, so feel free to consider this. Inquire about their welfare while you pay close attention to what they say. Assure them you’ll stand by them no matter what as they begin this new chapter in their life. Try to maintain a cheerful attitude and offer encouragement. They may feel more supported and loved if you listen to them and give them your full attention. Likewise, don’t be hesitant to express your own emotions. It can make a huge difference to let your loved one be assured that you’re there for them no matter what, so keep this in mind.

  • Assist in setting attainable goals 

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After incarceration, it’s critical to set reasonable goals to prevent them from feeling overburdened and defeated. Talk to your loved one about their short- and long-term objectives, and work with them to develop a strategy to move toward them. It entails re-establishing contact with family and friends, locating employment, or dealing with any underlying problems that might have contributed to their incarceration.

Speaking of employment, your loved one can also seek assistance from one of the numerous websites and resources accessible online or via nearby churches or community groups. They can also ask nearby companies or neighborhood organizations for jobs.

  • Help them create a network of allies

You can achieve this by engaging them in conversations, allowing them to speak freely about their challenges and experiences, getting in touch with old pals, or signing up for a group or online forum that offers support. Additionally, get them involved in positive activities, such as volunteering, attending religious services, hobbies, or participating in sports. Exposure can help them avoid negative influences and build a positive new lifestyle, so feel free to consider this.

  • Familiarize yourself with various re-entry initiatives

Re-entry programs are beneficial for adjusting to life after prison. But homework is important to identify the program that best serves your loved one’s needs. The best place to begin your investigation is by speaking with a case manager or counselor at the facility where you are currently detained. They will be able to tell you about the various re-entry programs that are accessible in your region. You can also research re-entry programs online or by contacting your neighborhood parole or probation office. Numerous charitable groups also provide re-entry assistance, so keep this in mind. 

  • Aid your loved one in developing a re-entry strategy

Among the nicest things you can do for a loved one who is incarcerated is to assist them in developing a re-entry strategy for when they are released. Where they will reside, how they will commute to work or school, and what kind of support services they will require should all be included in this plan. Your loved one will be able to reintegrate into society more successfully and smoothly if you have a plan in place, so feel free to consider this. 

  • Link your loved one up with local services

Your loved one can connect with a variety of neighborhood resources. Asking around and doing some online research are the best ways to uncover these resources. When you have a list of options, you may start evaluating them to determine which is ideal for your loved one. Local hospitals, community centers, senior centers, churches, and veterans’ groups are a few resources to consider, so keep this in mind. 

  • Celebrate achievements

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Any project should take time to recognize its milestones. Whether it’s a minor success or a significant achievement, take some time to appreciate the effort that went into it. That way, everyone stays motivated and goal-focused. Ensure to set aside some time to bask in the success. For instance, you can have a little get-together to celebrate their new job, house, etc. 

Life after incarceration can be challenging for the person involved, as they now have to integrate into society. They have to deal with stigma from other people, and they may find it difficult to catch up with the changes. However, they can go through these with the help of their loved ones. Hopefully, you can consider these tips to make their transition easier.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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3 days ago

Great topic. I love reading blogs that help people struggling in life find motivation. Great post!