Life in prison can impact your relationships and your plans for the future. Because life moves on for everyone else, you may fear the reality of everything changing and life as you know it looking unrecognizable upon your release.
One aspect that may provide comfort to you during this unprecedented time is maintaining involvement in your family. An effort to remain actively involved may give you purpose and motivation, as well as smooth your transition back to society upon your release.
One of your biggest challenges if you have children is the task of raising them during your incarceration. You may have a strong desire to participate in parental responsibilities, but lack the logistics to make it a reality. However, there are still plenty of ways you can be a good parent even if you do live in prison. Some actions you may consider include the following:
- Honestly explain your situation to your children at an age-appropriate level
- Suggest educational videos or resources for your children to watch and discuss
- Actively ask about your children’s educational accomplishments and extracurricular interests
- Participate in prison-sponsored parenting programs
- Join a support group with other parents in the prison
Reentering society after a prison stay can bring about feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. According to the American Psychological Association, prisoners who participate in educational opportunities while imprisoned are nearly 50% less likely to re-offend. During your stay, maintain regular contact with your family. Network with other individuals who may have connections to potential career opportunities upon your release.
Actively seek out educational opportunities and make it a goal to develop and strengthen critical skills. Your decision to stay involved in your family and community despite your incarceration may help you regain control of your future.