Inmates Released:  Their Transition Back Into Family & Society

  • It’s important to realize that many inmates in prison leave children behind; children who sometimes end up without another parent to look after them. Thus, the job falls to a grandparent, aunt, or even a sibling.
  • When inmates are released from prison, their first stop is a transitional or “halfway” house. 
  • Parental must choose whether to assimilate into the new family dynamic, resume their previous parental role, or remain separate from their child or children.
  • Should parental choose to reunite with their family, no matter which scenario works best, returning parents may need professional help or support with this transition.  
  • Parents have lost or missed out on many things while incarcerated (i.e., skills, knowledge, education, etc.).  To gain some of these things back, they need to participate in focused programs and attend specialized workshops.

It’s About the Kids

  • When parental is released from prison and return home, their child and the relatives looking after them have created a new home. Decisions on child’s welfare that returning parent used to make are and have been made by relative or sibling. 
  • New house rules may have been created.
  • Other unexpected changes may have been discovered to preventing children from making mistakes that could land them in prison.
  • Kids have also lost significant time while their parent was incarcerated.  “Robbed” of their childhood
  • Child or children may have missed significant time in public school, college, trade school or job.  
  • Stable, well-providing career may have been ended or postponed.
  • What do parental kids want to do now that their parent has returned home from prison?
  • Time to pursue your dreams
  • Life goals:  What do you want to do long-term?
  • Complete or resume education
  • Tutoring to align educational needs or gaps
  • Prepare child for graduation or progression to next grade
  • Begin or continue a career