A brief or long prison sentence can take a mental toll on an individual. So much can change about the world around you when you reach your release date. Depending on the type of crime you were guilty of, your family or friends may feel distanced from you, or you may be unable to continue with your career goals. But if you seek out help, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
Look into therapy or support groups
The transition of returning home from being behind bars can be tough on its own. You’ve probably witnessed countless interactions and experiences you’d rather repress than talk about. But it can be helpful to connect with other former inmates to lean on each other through this difficult time. Regaining freedom also makes access to alcohol and drugs easier, so it could be a good idea to seek out alcohol anonymous meetings preemptively. Plus, speaking with a therapist who can meet with you one-on-one can be a healthy way to get individualized support and learn proper coping mechanisms.
Try new hobbies
Keeping busy and finding new passions is a good way to feel like you are being productive with your day. It’s possible that one benefit of time in jail was getting time to reflect and think about the person you want to be. So, you can use what you learned about yourself and apply it as you start fresh. And if you dedicate yourself enough, a new hobby could turn into a job or keep you from returning to old ways that may get you in trouble.
Talk to an attorney
It’s possible that no one close to you has spent time in jail. That’s where an experienced criminal justice attorney can come in. They can give pointers on what to do now that you’re not locked up. Maybe you are still on parole or probation; if so, a legal professional can help you stay on track with following terms and conditions. Or perhaps you’ve wrapped up all court obligations and want to see if you are eligible for expungement. Any questions you have are worth asking because even if you tripped up in the past, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to rewrite your story now.