How To Help Your Loved One Adjust To Life After Jail

Today is the day—the person you care about is going to be returning home! You and your loved ones are really excited. It seems as though things can get back to normal now, right?

The fact of the matter is that the person you care about is going to have to readjust to life outside. They are going to experience things like cultural shock, despair, and anger, possibly all at the same time. They will also have to deal with the social stigma of being in prison, whether it is for ARS 13-1508 or a driving offense, and the collateral effects that come along with having a criminal record, both of which will be difficult for them.

How can you assist a loved one in readjusting to life following release from jail? Here are some tips. 

How To Help Your Loved One Adjust To Life After Jail

1. Look out for culture shock

Culture shock could be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome upon release for your family member or friend, depending on the duration of their sentence. The longer an inmate was incarcerated, the more severe the effects of culture shock are likely to be.

Your loved one will be aware of new developments in technology, the proliferation of social media as a means of contact, newer types of cell phones or cell phones in general, as well as new vocabulary that has been introduced since they were most recently released from prison. They will be unable to readjust to their new “normal.” without your assistance.

Being patient with your loved one while also showing them love and understanding is the most effective way to assist them in overcoming the effects of culture shock. Give them assistance in making decisions, adjusting to new cultural norms, and organizing their lives.

  1. Watch out for signs of depression

It is extremely typical to have depression after release from prison. The process of readjustment to normal life is difficult, and the pursuit of employment while having a criminal record may be extremely irritating. Stability in one’s financial situation is also essential.

There are additional actions that you and your loved one can take to improve the mental health and happiness of the other person, even if counseling is not a possibility.

  1. Set small goals

Begin by setting one goal for each day. When they reach each objective, you should encourage them to reward themselves by doing something modest for themselves, such as going on a long walk or eating a wonderful meal. The more success they achieve, irrespective of how significant it may be, the more self-assured and content they will become.

  1. Work with them on positive affirmations.

Reaffirming positive thinking and connecting with others who think positively will eventually pay off in many cases.

  1. Communicate – even when you are frustrated

Communication is the most effective method for reducing feelings of annoyance and helplessness. Have a conversation with one another about how you feel about the way the other person expresses their frustration and figure out the most effective approach for conveying these emotions. Finding a middle ground and holding people accountable will help you keep the conversation going and improve how you talk to each other.

  1. Anger management

The use of violence and rage as a means of self-defense is common in prisons. These shows are not nearly as acceptable outside of the culture of the institution. Your friend or family member will need to figure out a means to keep this anger under control and channel it into something productive.

Encourage the person you care about to take a few deep breaths and focus on slowing their breathing for ten seconds whenever they feel themselves becoming irritated. Then make an effort to have a conversation with them and determine the source of their rage. Last but not least, try to figure out what they were trying to do by letting out their anger and how they could do it in a way that was more productive and in their own hands.

  1. Dealing with feelings of rejection

During the first few months that your loved one is back at home, they will face rejection in many different forms. They run the risk of being rejected by potential employers, previous acquaintances, and even some members of their own family due to the stigma that is associated with incarceration. You will be responsible for teaching them how to deal with being rejected, moving on with their lives, and working to improve both themselves and their circumstances.

They need to be reminded to take it easy on themselves. They do not constitute a failure. They need to keep working hard, keep their attention on the task at hand, and give themselves credit for the success that they have accomplished. Inspire them to concentrate less on their previous setbacks and more on the final result they want to achieve.

  1. Battle negative influences

There is constantly pressure from the outside to conform to the group’s standards in order to be accepted. If the friends and family of your loved one are always encouraging them to do better, work hard, and make time to connect with people who will have a positive impact on them, then your loved one will find that they are motivated to improve in these areas on their own.

Aside from that, the most effective strategy to fight against destructive influences is to be aware of them. Talk to the person you care about their personal boundaries, how comfortable they are with certain situations, and what they think is right and wrong, and then urge them to stick to these boundaries no matter what. Before engaging in activities involving more people in a group setting, it is essential for the person you care about to have a solid understanding of their own unique requirements and objectives.

  1. Help with addiction issues

It is possible that the person you care about developed an addiction either before or while they were behind bars. After their release, they might not turn out to be the same person you knew them to be before.

Without assistance from others, overcoming addictions is an extremely challenging task. Your friend or family member will be in need of your counsel, as well as your love, care, and emotional support. In many cases, they will require the assistance of a certified therapist or doctor in order to be provided with a distinct, evidence-based method that will assist them in overcoming their addiction. Your love and support are ultimately what will lead them through the process of recovery and make all the difference.

  1. Support with housing 

Finding suitable accommodation presents insurmountable challenges for the vast majority of formerly incarcerated individuals upon their release into society.

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, some parolees end up homeless after they get out of jail because it’s likely they won’t be able to find suitable housing.

Lack of income, rules that make it more difficult for parolees to secure accommodation, and a lack of available public housing are among the most prominent reasons that contribute to difficulty in locating suitable housing.

The most important step in the process of readjusting to life outside of jail is the first month that someone spends outside of jail after being released. The provision of accommodation or financial aid toward housing should be at the top of your priority list if you are thinking about how to help a family member or friend who has recently been released from jail.

  1. Provide direction, but empower individuals

According to a report that was published by the Department of Health and Human Services, convicts frequently live in environments that discourage independence and prevent them from taking initiative on their own. Some prisoners may, throughout the course of their incarceration, develop a dependency on the highly regimented prison life that is provided for them in order to function well.

Because of this, former inmates may find it challenging to negotiate a world in which they have some degree of liberty once they have been granted their freedom.

By giving structure within your loved one’s daily routine, you can help alleviate the shift that they are going through. It is a good idea to start off by eating all of your meals together at the same time every day.

In addition to this, it is essential to encourage your loved one’s autonomy as much as possible. Begin by soliciting their input on less complex issues, such as what the family should eat for dinner or what enjoyable activity you should do over the weekend, and then work your way up to more difficult and consequential choices. Your loved one will have a much easier time readjusting to life outside of jail if you help them ease back into the role of being an independent decision-maker and gradually increase their level of responsibility over time.


2 thoughts on “How To Help Your Loved One Adjust To Life After Jail

  • Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with this, but these are good suggestions.

  • this is so important. thank you


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