Hey guys, Noah, here.
So one common practice about getting out of prison is worrying about what is to come upon release.
I didn’t think everyone does it because some people are leaving to better situations then the majority, but of course, there is more to it than just money and a place to live. Even though I have a nice place to live, I’m realizing that the closer I get to the door, I am starting to get nervous as well.
It’s more common among inmates who have been incarcerated for a number of years, like myself. But I have also seen it from short timers. Usually, five or more years in prison will do the trick.
I just talked to my roommate Ivan who is going home in March and has done a little over two and a half years in here, and he has a good situation to go home to, and he said he isn’t worried one bit.
Then you have Chris, who also has a good situation to go home to but has done much more time, and whether he will admit it or not, he’s definitely experiencing some anxiety. You can simply see it in his actions. He is second guessing everything from how much money he has saved to how employable he will be in his area.
You should see the guys who have done over ten years and have no money and no place to go; they are generally terrified as they get near their outdate.
I have seen people worry about a whole array of things….
Where will they live?
Has their wife been faithful?
Do their kids hate them?
Will loved ones accept them back in their lives?
How will they make money for their families or even themselves?
Will they be able to get on their feet in the time that they are in the halfway house?
How will they afford clothes?
How will they pay back their fines?
How will they get to work?
Where will they workout, or how will they workout while in the halfway house or on home confinement?
Will they become depressed?
Will people judge them or look at them differently?
Can they go back to their old neighborhood?
What will people expect them to do?
How will people expect them to be?
How long will they make it this time?
I don’t worry about where I am going to live or how I am going to make money, but I do worry about other things such as…
Will I be a good father, and will my daughter and I get along?
Will I help or hinder her growth as a person?
Will I cause pain or embarrassment in her life?
Will I be a good brother, son, and friend?
Will I be accepted by my new community?
Will I relapse?
Will I go back to old friends and old ways?
Have I actually changed?
I don’t know, these are just some of the questions that are rolling around in my head. The thing I fear the most is letting my family down again, and if I did it once already, it would be ignorant to say it can’t happen again.
I feel confident that the reflecting I have done and the changes I have made over the years has been enough to catapult me to success, but nothing in life is guaranteed.
Even being overly optimistic could be just as detrimental to my success as any of the above I just listed. It’s going to be important for me to stay grounded, and just like I told myself when I was going from the FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) in Milan to the FPC (Federal Prison Camp) in Yankton, don’t get comfortable and screw it up, Noah.
As soon as you think you have everything under control is the time that you are most vulnerable.
That is the time the old friend hits you up, or you think it’s okay to celebrate and have a little extra fun, and before you know it, you are back in jail, and a snowball effect happens from there.
I am curious what is there for the less fortunate, the inmate the halfway house is actually built for. I know they don’t just get kicked out after their time is up. They do have the option of staying longer until they have a safe place to go. But are there places out there that help them get employed or find a place to live, or do they have to find that on their own?
Now that I have gone to Narcotics Anonymous for the past six months, I know you can get connected with a homegroup wherever you are going, but I would have never known that if I didn’t start going in the first place. My DTS (drug treatment specialist) in the program always said that transition is the most important part, and I am starting to see he was right.
Thanks for listening!