It may seem unlikely to picture your life outside of prison in California. Facing criminal charges may seem like the end of the world, especially if the repercussions have stripped you of freedom.
Contrary to the common narrative, your past does not have to control your future. Getting an education is a fantastic place to begin. Many educational resources can help you learn critical, real-life skills that you can leverage to your benefit.
Prepare for change
While it is possible to get a job with minimal education, it is less likely. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in a survey of incarcerated adults, a staggering 30% of participants had less than a high school diploma. Additionally, research shows that adults with lower education levels have a higher risk of recidivism. One way that you can prepare to take back control of your life is to jumpstart your education even while still serving time.
Depending on your location, you could have access to a variety of educational courses. Some of these courses could help you work toward a high school diploma while others may count toward college credit. You may also have opportunities to participate in health and wellness programs where you can learn how to take better care of your body.
Make an impression
Reentering society with proof of your desire to make different choices can make an impression on others. For example, if you get a job interview, you can share how your past experiences have enabled you to learn and refine crucial skills. You may also have the chance to list educational accomplishments on your resume which may improve your chances of getting a job.
Recognizing that you can take back control of your life even as you await your release can give you a push in the right direction. Working with an attorney, you can strategize to improve your situation and reduce the negative impact of past mistakes on your promising future.