The ultimate goal of all incarcerated people is to re-enter their pre-prison lives as healthy and productive members of society. However, there are challenges. Prison administration and your chaplain will likely discuss many of these with you, but today’s post shares a few thoughts on things that you must avoid to live your best life on the outside. In a nutshell, here they are:
1. Stop Ignoring the Risk of Recidivism
Recidivism refers to the rate at which people are re-arrested after release and can vary between 23.1% and 31.8%. However, this rate is slightly higher among males, at 25.2%. Understanding your risk may make you more inclined to pay attention to your actions and behaviors post-incarceration!
2. Stop Frequenting the Same Places You Did Before Your Arrest
While we all, of course, want to visit our friends and family, you must understand your triggers, especially if your incarceration revolves around drug or alcohol use. The American Addiction Center asserts that relapses may be circumvented by avoiding these triggers. One of your triggers maybe someone with whom you have an unhealthy relationship. Or possibly a location, such as a mall, neighborhood, or liquor store.
3. Stop Working a Career that Stresses You Out
Many people find it is easier to stay on the proverbial straight and narrow when they’re not stressed out or burnt out from their jobs. Upon your release, you may find that it’s most effective to look for a new career or to start your own business. Look at your skills. If you have experience mowing lawns, for example, consider starting a business doing that. If you're great with numbers, words, or a specific subject, consider working online as a VA, tutor, copywriter, or website designer; each is a low-investment option.
4. Stop Ignoring Your Education
While there does appear to be a correlation between completing high school and going to prison (the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond explains that around 80% of people in prison are high school dropouts or GED recipients). Your current education level is something you can change if you want.
If you are not quite ready to be around others, consider going to school online while you work or acclimate to life on the outside. Look for a school that is affordable so that you can do something you want without overspending.
5. Stop Treating Your Health Like an Afterthought
When you leave prison, you might be acclimated to peanut butter and Ramen, but you have an entire grocery store full of fresh fruits and vegetables, now. Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep every night. Also, keep your home environment as positive as possible. These simple steps can reduce stress, which may keep you on the best behavior of the new you!
6. Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations
Chances are, if you’ve been incarcerated, there is at least one person that you’ve harmed or done wrong. Make amends with these people, even if it means putting your pride aside and apologizing for your behaviors. If you don’t know how to express yourself, start by taking responsibility and admitting you were wrong. It will also help to determine how the other person felt about your behavior and offer a sincere apology. It’s amazing how much forgiveness and redemption can truly do for the heart and soul.
As you get ready to re-enter the civilian world, there are many things that you have to let go of. From saying goodbye to a job you hate to kicking your pride under the rug and saying you’re sorry, today’s tips can put you in a better mental state to avoid relapse and stay free the way you were meant to be.
The Sammy Joseph Ministries and I are here to spread compassion, help you heal, and thus help generate a thriving community. Please, kindly let us know if you have any questions! You may also order the book authored by Dr. Joseph titled YOU ARE NOT A MISMATCH at the disclosed link beneath.
- Article was written by Dorothy WATSON.
'Six Things You Can't Do When You Regain Your Freedom from Incarceration' was written by Dorothy Watson for our blog page. We hope it has blessed you. While others' works will feature on ours from time to time, guest writers'/bloggers' messages may not necessarily entirely reflect those of our ministries. (The picture is Pexels').
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