• Kelly Rhone


Updated: May 12

Since we're amid a pandemic that's turned our lives upside down, even if you've only been incarcerated for a short time, you undoubtedly feel like everything has changed.

Re-entry programs and support groups are a great way to help people with the transition from prison life to the outside world.

They can offer guidance and help find employment, housing, childcare, food, and more.

If you've been detained for a long time, the adjustment is more complicated.

It's tough to adjust to life after jail, but it's also an opportunity for a fresh start.

Few individuals have a clear gap between their previous life and their current existence. So if you want to, it's a chance to do things differently.

And we've gathered some resources to assist you in getting started.

Methods for preparing for reintegration

Add these items to your to-do list if you're going to be freed.

1. Start looking for work

Finding and keeping a secure home typically depends on having a steady income.

First and foremost, use these suggestions to improve your résumé. Next, make a list of occupations and firms you are interested in.

Spend some time looking for available opportunities related to your passions in your region.

Find someone willing to practice interviewing with you if you can. Then go out and apply for employment. You must be open and honest about your criminal history.

2. Look for methods to demonstrate that you are a responsible renter.

Many landlords said it's not necessarily the money that's their major factor.

You must look after the property and understand that you're a neighbor responsible for contributing to the community.

Would it be helpful if the person was part of a program that helped them grow and included training on being a good renter?.

In addition, it will go a long way toward helping you acquire a home if you can demonstrate a history of excellent rental upkeep or receive references from previous landlords.

3. Get engaged in the community

While some individuals establish acquaintances via random encounters on the street and find employment through internet postings, it's simpler to do it through your network.

Start engaging in local groups that you care about, whether it's a religious group, a food bank, a volunteer opportunity, a sports league, or anything else—meeting new individuals aids in the formation of new connections.

You'll establish friends and contacts that will assist in your reintegration.

4. Join a support group

You don't have to, and you don't have to, go through reintegration alone. Instead, find a support group in your region by doing online research.

Every week, several local organizations sponsor these gatherings.

Attending your first group meeting may seem strange at first, but you'll be surrounded by others who understand what you're going through and can guide you through the journey ahead.

5. Keep asking

If you know of a resource or program that would be useful to you, keep looking for it.

You have to do your state and federal resources homework.

You can't allow the fact that a door is closing in your face to dissuade you. On the contrary, it would help if you continued to work on it.

6. Consider your attitude

Many incarcerated persons come out ill-prepared.

They may have an arrogant or unrealistic attitude that obstructs them.

You can't say to yourself, "I've served my time, and I'm deserved this.

You also can't think to yourself, "I'm a criminal. 'No one will give me anything.' So it's all about getting folks out of their heads.

Parolees' financial resources

When a person returns to society, it is customary to face financial difficulties.

Earning a livelihood offers a significant barrier without a job in place and a restricted résumé due to the time spent in jail.

However, you do not have to face life after prison with empty pockets.

Here are some financial resources to look into:

1. Housing Choice Vouchers:

Formerly known as Section 8, these vouchers are granted by HUD to assist with paying for private rental housing.

Your eligibility is determined by your local PHA based on factors such as your adjusted gross income (you must typically be deemed low-income) and your household size.

Contact your local PHA to see whether you are eligible for this voucher to assist you with the cost of the rent.

2. Work Opportunity Tax Benefit:

You are not eligible for this credit, but a prospective employer is.

Essentially, this credit lowers a company's tax liability when it hires people from specific categories, such as formerly jailed persons.

When you're looking for work, asking employers whether they're aware of the tax credit will help you persuade them to hire you, which will help you earn the money you need.

3. Supplementary Security Income Benefits:

Suppose you are above the age of 65 or have a disability.

You may be eligible for supplemental income from the Social Security Administration if you have worked and paid into Social Security for many years.

Review the Benefits After Incarceration website to learn more about your eligibility.

4. Food stamps:

Suppose you can find work, but a large percentage of your salary is garnished to pay for probation costs or court penalties.

In that case, you may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), sometimes known as food stamps.

This helps you to purchase necessary goods without depleting your financial savings.

5. Your Money, Your Goals Toolkit:

Having a stable home and supporting yourself entails more than simply having a place to live and work.

It is also essential to properly manage the money you do have.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides a comprehensive and valuable toolbox.

You may go through the entire toolkit or just the section that applies to you, such as paying bills or managing debt.

Prisoner Re-Entry Challenges

Around 700,000 people are released from state prisons in the United States, while another 9 million are freed from county jails.

However, more than 10% of persons entering and exiting prisons and jails are homeless.

Being homeless, having insecure housing, or living in a high crime area increases the risk of recidivism.

Those with mental illnesses have more significant than usual rates of homelessness and housing instability among ex-offenders.

Homelessness is a public health concern and a public safety one.

Since 1999, New Jersey has effectively decreased its state prison population by roughly 37 percent, thanks mainly to developing alternatives to imprisonment and community-based rehabilitation and treatment programs (Sentencing Project, 2015).

Five hundred sixty-four thousand seven hundred eight persons were homeless on a single night in January 2015, either sleeping outdoors or in.

The Housing and Urban Development Point-In-Time Count is an annual effort done in towns around the country to estimate the national level of homelessness on a state-by-state basis.

The Point-In-Time count is often criticized for underestimating homelessness; yet, federal and state governments utilize these numbers to decide to finance housing projects through local continuums of care.

An even more significant discrepancy exists in calculating the frequency of homelessness among those leaving prisons and jails, with considerable differences in prisoner and parolee homelessness estimates.

According to the Council of State Governments (2006), more than 10% of people entering and leaving prisons and jails were homeless months before their imprisonment.

The percentage for those with mental illness is about 20%.

Returning to the community after prison or jail poses many challenges in work, housing, treatment for medical and mental health concerns, and family reunion.

Although homelessness is not solely to blame for recidivism, it complicates all other areas of intervention for ex-offenders.

For example, formerly jailed males said their imprisonment made it difficult to find secure housing like homelessness and precursors to homelessness, including residence turnover and reliance on others for housing expenditures.

Similar research found a significant proportion of previously jailed persons in the New York City shelter system, lending credence to the phenomena of homeless and insecurely housed ex-offenders.

Metraux and Culhane (2006) discovered that 23 percent of the sheltered homeless had been incarcerated during the preceding two years, with people entering from prisons accounting for 17 percent and those returning from prison accounting for 7 percent of that number.

Herbert, Morenoff, and Harding (2015) discovered that high rates of housing insecurity among former prisoners were linked to features of community supervision, returns to prison, and other risk factors when they investigated the relationship between homelessness, housing insecurity, and incarceration.

The study's significant results revealed that parolees had a considerably higher incidence of movement and that mental illness, drug and alcohol misuse, past detentions and prior experiences of homelessness were all predictive of residential instability and housing instability (Herbert et al., 2015, p. 20).

Furthermore, identifying a stable home plan for persons preparing for release is essential in discharge planning.

Best practices in correctional settings advise that discharge planning should begin from the time of admission to the prison system.

Although family members are thought to help reintegrate into society, lengthier jail sentences are related to decreased frequency of contact with family members.

Consider how long sentences affect family reunions. It is doubtful that a 30-year sentence would make it simple to return home to family members.

Family relationships may not have been strong before jail for ex-offenders with the most significant risk of recidivism.

After being released from prison, many of the people I've met have false expectations about family assistance, have family members engaged in the criminal justice system, and come from households battling addiction and financial concerns.

Domestic violence history will prevent certain ex-offenders from reuniting with their love partner.

Furthermore, having a small number of family members to lean on might be a huge hurdle.

Most of the men in the study results described being raised primarily by their mother and without knowing or having a connection with their father, adding load for the family's often aging matriarch.

Families sometimes suffer financially while a person is jailed, and housing instability and eviction are not uncommon.

A guide to finding housing after incarceration

If you have a loved one who will be released, you undoubtedly wonder what to anticipate when a prisoner returns home.

But, more significantly, you may be wondering what you can do to assist them.

Your willingness to assist will make a difference. "Family support is essential.

Here are some pointers to assist your returning citizen:

1. Research services:

We've linked to various tools in this article to help you identify local, state, and federal resources that may assist your loved one.

Having a list of options available might help them feel empowered to make a good start in life after jail.

2. Understand their probation and parole:

Take the time to educate yourself on the rules your loved one will be subject to.

Developing a friendship with their parole officer might be beneficial.

Knowing these restrictions may help you avoid making things difficult for the person you're trying to help, such as organizing a trip to a place outside of state boundaries.

3. Assist them with their job hunt:

You can make your returning citizen feel more confident in their job search.

Examine their résumé and do mock interviews with them.

Also, when discussions are planned, assist them in preparing for them and remain engaged on the interview day to ensure they arrive on time.

4. Create a plan:

If someone has some structure that they can look forward to on release, it helps.

Set objectives for the time immediately after your loved one's return home.

Do you wish to put money into your savings account?

Do you need to locate their full-time work in several months?

Setting objectives like these and preparing measures to achieve them allows you to remain on the same page while providing the assistance your returnee needs.

Whether you're a returning citizen or a loved one, these tools should help you prepare for a productive, stable life after prison.

Transitional housing for parolees in California

The list below provides transitional housing options for individuals who are currently incarcerated and are proactive in lining up housing for post-release or looking to provide documentation to the parole board that they have transitional housing that will accept them if they are granted parole.

You may write to the address mentioned or contact the phone number for further information on the various initiatives.

Please keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive; there may be organizations that accept applications from persons who are presently jailed that are not included on this list.

1. Hope Help and Healing

HH&H collaborates with several organizations in the Auburn region to provide the most excellent possible assistance to HH&H residents.

Their referral network exemplifies HH&H's commitment to the community. Over the past four years, HH&H has established a reputation for providing a caring service that yields results.

These professionals and clergy members recommend their customers to HH&H, and HH&H staffs work closely with these groups. As a result, hundreds of individuals from all around California have come to HH&H.

The purpose of HH&H is to "empower and support men and women in their desire to improve their lives, become productive citizens, and live according to the rules of GOD and man." HH&H believes that believing and implementing biblical principles is the key to leaving behind harmful habits and choices.

2. Crossroads, Inc.

Crossroads, Inc. has offered HOPE and HOME to formerly imprisoned women since 1974.

Their goal is for women to THRIVE in their communities. But, unfortunately, people sometimes need more than a second chance.

Time, planning, and resources are required to capitalize on possibilities ultimately.

And when the time comes for that individual to make a change, as a community, believe that you must be willing to walk with that person to effect those changes in that person's life.

3. Seventh Step Foundation

The Seventh Step Foundation, Inc. seeks to create opportunities and an environment where you may concentrate on yourself, improve your lifestyle, and accomplish your objectives.

Seventh Step Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1972 as a residential sober living home offering case management and rehabilitation therapy to clients in the Bay Area.

They are a 32-bed Transitional Housing residential facility. On-site personnel is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Security cameras monitor the house, and parking is easy to get by. In Hayward, California's Cherryland District, the residence is in a secure and friendly neighborhood.

In addition, they have two more properties in Hayward's Cherryland District. Both are Transitional housing residential houses with six beds.

All tenants will meet with a staff member for an initial evaluation to see whether they qualify for the Transitional Housing Program.

As part of their treatment and ensuring a clean and sober atmosphere, all residents are subjected to random urine testing.

If you would like to learn more about their Transitional Housing residential residences, please contact the Administrative Office of the Seventh Step Foundation, Inc.

They look forward to hearing from you and assisting you in your quest to live a clean and sober lifestyle.

4. Union Rescue Mission

Union Rescue Mission (URM) is one of America's most important missions of its sort, providing assistance and hope to men, women, and children who are homeless in Downtown Los Angeles.

Lyman Stewart, president and founder of Union Oil Company, formed URM in 1891. George A.

Hilton was the Mission's first superintendent, and it was formerly known as the Pacific Gospel Union.

During those early days, URM went to the streets in gospel wagons, offering food, clothes, and salvation to people in need.

URM has sustained and increased its efforts to feed both the body and the spirit, assisting individuals and families in breaking the cycle of poverty and achieving self-sufficiency.

5. A New Way of Life re-entry project

A New Way of Life began as a single reintegration house in South Los Angeles and has developed into a comprehensive recovery program.

They now have housing, legal assistance, employment and education development, and advocacy teams.

Since its inception, they have housed over 1,200 previously jailed women, assisted in reunifying over 400 mothers with their children, and offered pro bono legal assistance to over 3,400 community people with criminal records.

They empower and develop previously imprisoned people's leadership abilities; They recruit formerly incarcerated individuals.

They offer cutting-edge organizational leadership that promotes resources for disenfranchised people living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

6. Healthright360

HealthRIGHT 360 operates programs in 11 California counties, serving over 40,000 individuals with integrated medical, dental, mental health outpatient and residential treatment, and re-entry services.

They provide medical and dental clinics, residential treatment and transitional housing programs, and a mobile medical van that can assist over 1500 men and women.

They work to enhance your community's most vulnerable residents' health, safety, and productivity.

7. The Francisco Homes

For recently convicted "lifers" on parole, The Francisco Homes offers comprehensive reintegration support services and temporary housing.

Their houses are in South Los Angeles. Their work is inspired by the Bible and imbued with hope and love.

These spiritual talents serve as the foundation for all they accomplish and are the reason they have a recidivism rate of less than 1%.

The Francisco Homes provides previously jailed people with hope and multifaceted, comprehensive assistance as they strive to reintegrate into society.

The Francisco Homes, guided by faith-inspired values, promotes your community to recognize the worth and dignity in all persons, opening the door to opportunity for conciliation and healing; and developing a culture in which the re-entry process becomes restorative.

8. Women in Transition Re-entry Project Inc.

To Reduce recidivism by advocating for women and children whose lives have been impacted by imprisonment and societal obstacles and offering pathways to self-sufficiency, education, sustainability, and work.

9. Love Lifted Me Recovery

They work alongside the traditional church to assist persons suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual addictions, eating disorders, codependency, depression, and dysfunctional family difficulties.

They employ biblical concepts and the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to help individuals recover from addictions and attain their full potential in Christ Jesus.

They assist persons whose lives have been harmed by any of the difficulties listed above in resuming productive lives in society as fruitful members of God's kingdom.

10.Veteran Housing Facility

VHF is committed to providing a community-based residential environment and support services to homeless Veterans to help them regain optimum independent living.

11. Men of Valor Academy

Men of Valor Academy offers adult males on probation with residential accommodation, jobs, education, and mentorship.

The Men's Ministry (Men of Valor) of New Life World Outreach Ministries Church exists to assist men in developing their God-given responsibilities as spouses, dads, workers, disciple-makers, and church leaders.

12. The Overcomers Program

The Overcomer's Program is a Residential Recovery Facility that offers therapy, family reunion, and total restoration to those with damaging addictions and behaviors.

They provide recovery aid and support to men and women over 18 in Sacramento, CA, and across the Central Valley.

The Program offers a safe, secure environment that fosters physical, mental, spiritual, and social health via practical, tried-and-true rehabilitation techniques delivered by specialists committed to re-establishing residents' productive, healthy lives.

The one-year to two-year program offers 40 hours of intensive classroom teaching per week, covering anger management, group therapy, life skills, leadership training, relapse prevention, self-esteem development, and other topics.

Work therapy is also incorporated to rebuild the work ethic and instill a feeling of responsibility for a sustainable future of self-sufficiency.

13.Recovery Zone

In the Los Angeles region, Recovery Zone is a secure environment where you may discover individualized treatments for drug misuse.

They think that every individual is entitled to the therapy that is most suited to their specific requirements.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and if you need assistance, don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

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