People sometimes make bad decisions that can result in time spent in prison. This does not, however, mean there is no hope for turning their life around. A key factor in transitioning from release from incarceration and successfully integrating back into society is developing a reentry plan.
A successful reentry plan takes preparation, understanding, and community support. Community reentry programs like The Rock Found exist in order to give people the re-entry resources they need for their plans to work.
Developing A Successful Reentry Plan
Whether it is peer mentoring or family support, mentorship is important for individuals to have during these trying times. Volunteers, friends, or even family can receive training to give practical advice and assistance along with moral and emotional support.
Rebuilding family relationships often results in positive motivation and purpose. However, not all family relationships are healthy or capable of restoration. Finding healthy personal relationships, friends or family, to communicate with regularly through letters, calls, or personal visits can promote prosocial skills while positively impacting self–image.
Becoming a positive member of society is the entire goal of a reentry plan. This begins with finding a community that they can associate with in healthy ways. Faith communities are often a great resource to begin and can often contribute in practical ways, such as housing, food, or clothing.
One of the most important factors in a reentry plan is the preparation for daily life. Securing shelter, food, and clothing should be part of this process. Also, consider transportation needs and free time. Make a daily schedule for a month that is both practical and encourages positive steps for achieving goals moving forward.
Community reentry programs provide many important re-entry services for prisoners after release. Locating these are a crucial part of a reentry plan. Research nonprofits, churches, or federal programs in your area. Make sure to locate their address, phone number, and office hours. Contact them as soon as possible due to possible member limitations or qualification issues.
Some issues require professional training that isn’t widely available. Remember to find treatment options for any substance abuse problems, mental illness issues, or known medical conditions. Construct a plan for treating these long-term, if possible.
Education / Vocational Training
Job opportunities can be limited without a high school diploma or the proper training. Locate GED assistance programs or vocational training opportunities that help people to develop trade skills for future employment opportunities. For example, The Rock Found partners with Raised in a Barn and CSK’s Grill to give our members the opportunity to gain experience in carpentry and food preparation for the furniture and food service industries.
Remember, reintegration takes time. A reentry plan should include both short-term and long-term goals that are equally healthy and achievable.
If you’d like help with finding community entry resources in Colorado or wish to learn more about becoming a member of our program, contact The Rock Found today.