What is the best way to help someone re-enter society after they are released from prison?

re-entry, getting out of prisonAnswer:   Dealing with re-entry is badly needed in the United States.  The United States has the most incarcerated people in the world.  Sadly, recidivism (people going back to prison) is between 41% to 64%.  If we can lower the recidivism rate we can lower the prison populations and save billions of dollars and thousands of lives. 

The key with re-entry is not only the essentials like housing and jobs.  In fact, they are not even the most important things a newly released ex-offender has to deal with. 

Being institutionalized is a fact ALL ex-offenders who get out of prison have to deal with.  It takes three weeks to make a habit and six months to break that habit.  Imagine a person who does the same thing for years and years in a structured environment and then is thrown into a different environment.  It is the most nerve racking experience a person will ever face.  From elation to depression.

Emotions, free world communication skills, bitterness, and trust are just some of the things a newly released ex-offender has to deal with. The ex-offenders family has to be taught what is going through the mind of an ex-offender.  They might think they know, but in reality, they don’t. 

People just don’t know what that person went through.  To name a few.  From being abused, witnessing abuses, not trusting anyone, minor habits such as bumping into someone and not saying you are sorry are small to a free world individual, but might make an ex-offender go off the deep end.  

This subject is dear to my heart and something we at Lawton911 take very seriously.  Lawton911 is in the process of making a re-entry program DVD and training manual for state and federal probation officers.  The program DVD will encompass all aspects of re-entry. 

A program DVD for families, faith based organizations, and other entities with the ultimate goal of successfully reintegrating a person into society will be part of the total re-entry program Lawton911 is working on.

The short answer to your question and the best one word answer I can give you is, PATIENCE.

God Bless and never give up on your loved one.  People do change, I did.

 Larry Lawton
President
Lawton911 & The Reality Check Program