Yesterday I bumped into an inmate in the gym who had just recently left prison to return back to society. He had not been home for longer than 8 months. We talked and he was all smiles explaining to me the hardship of making it out in society. After our conversation it had me thinking because I could identify with his analysis of the world for a citizen with a record.
Of course, there are going to be hardships for people returning back to society. Nothing gets easier for us. But in life, everyone has hardships that they go through. This line of thinking should not give us an excuse to return to a life of crime. This is why proper preparation is vital to our successful reintegration back into society.
Proper preparation is reprograming the way we think. Because we can not expect to change our situation with the same train of thought that led us to our current situation. I must be diligent in my approach to rehabilitation. Just as a drug abuser has his 12 steps and his support groups I think that inmates should have the same mentality that rehabilitation is an ongoing process.
I must keep filling my mind with successful knowledge of things that will aid in my success after prison. And this must start before I leave prison not when I get out. I must kill that criminal mentality before I return to society because failing is not an option for me. And neither should it be for any other inmate that wants to be a productive citizen upon release. As the saying goes proper preparations prevent poor performance. If we plan properly for our success we will achieve that goal and even when we cross a path that is rugged we will be able to endure and keep forward.