The day a loved one comes home from prison, the relatives could have mixed feelings. While the people who love the person show excitement, others might be worried or frightened. It is especially true for felons with violent crimes.
Excited or not, if an ex-felon is coming out of prison, and you want to be there to support him/her, the road is tough. Prison life and everyday life do not compare. Hence, when convicts come out of prison, their adjustment to living outside of prison becomes an uphill battle.
So, if you want to help a loved one reintegrate into felons in society after prison, you need to prepare well.
How Can You Help Ex-Convict Get Their Life Back On Track?
Each person is different. Your loved one may only face a few of the issues. In some cases, they could meet several others issues due to extreme circumstances.
1. Helping through the Cultural Shock
Prisoners with longer sentence time find the outside world significantly different from the time they left. Thus, a positive correlation between sentence time and the level of culture shock is likely.
What is Culture Shock?
Cultural Shock includes the feeling of disorientation that people get due to sudden culture change. Adapting to the new environment becomes a hassle. It can happen even when it returns after a long period of absence from a formal culture. The phenomenon is known as reverse culture shock.
The ex-felons face culture shock and find adapting challenging.
2. Seek Professional Help
If possible, ex-convicts should seek professional help for mental health issues. It is common for them to go through a phase of depression as they struggle with adjusting to the new daily life routine.
Moreover, as they find it challenging to find financial stability, frustrations rise.
To help improve the chances of adjustments, here are two things ex-felons can do at home.
- Small Goals: Setting small, achievable goals every day is essential. It includes creating a routine for life. The small goals achievements will help make them feel more confident and happy.
- Self-Talk: Your mind can become your worst enemy. It is worse for felons who find themselves outcast in society. You can help improve their self-talk. Encouraging them to think positively can bring significant change in their life.
If personal efforts fail, you can opt for a therapist and additional help.
3. Anger Management
Prison life is challenging and aggressive. As a result, some prisoners need to use anger as a form of protection. Hence, acceptable behavior in prison has a stark difference from everyday life.
Find the appropriate outlet and breathing exercises to calm the brain in such situations. Also, try to figure out their goals with anger and offer advice accordingly.
4. Open Doors for Communication
Living with an ex-felon isn’t always easy. Romantic or not, the relationship comes with a strain. So, try to keep the communication door open at all times. They can offer an empathetic ear to you too.
Communication is integral in all relationships. Try to find a middle ground, understand their motivations, and keep accountable to live a fulfilling life.
5. Encourage a Productive Life
A productive life can give direction to ex-felons. It includes searching for a job for felons, doing volunteer work, and other activities to keep them busy.
With a proper job, they can also earn money that will help tackle the financial insecurities of life.
Empty mind houses several negative thoughts. Therefore, it is best to occupy it with relevant work that gives a sense of achievement.
You, as a loved one, can help them search for a job. There are several felon-friendly companies and jobs available for all.
Rejections are part of the process. It might cause frustration in them, but being patient is the only way forward.
Create a thoughtful resume with them. Add all relevant experience, volunteer work, and other details in the mix, and spread it far and wide.
A good job, work chores at home, fun classes, and other activities can make readjustment into everyday life easier.
To help a loved one come back to regular life after prison requires patience. Work with them, and seek help when needed. People deserve second chances. And you can help them with these tips.