Start Building Your Release Plans Before You Enter Prison

Reentering society can be a dramatic adjustment after being incarcerated, as time inevitably passes and friends, former colleagues and loved ones have continued to live their lives while you’ve been away. Nothing stands still, and it is in your best interests to understand this and prepare for life after incarceration by developing a release plan.

What Happens when I’m Released from Prison?

The day you get out of prison isn’t typically like the movies, where everyone gathers to welcome you home. Instead, you will likely need to report to a halfway house or at least to your probation officer the day you are released. Then, the real work begins: you will need to look for a place to live, a job, and the strength to start your new life.

That’s what a release plan helps you to prepare for. It will help guide you on your return to your life once your sentence ends.

What Is a Release Plan?

The purpose of your release plan is to address the fundamental question you’ll face: “So now what?” That’s a broad question, though. It’s more helpful to break it down into smaller concerns. The best way to develop these plans is to ask simple logistical questions and answer them, such as:

  • Where will you live? What will you do if your first plan for a living place falls through?
  • What will you need to do to fulfill any Probation requirements?
  • How will you support yourself?
  • How will you pay for expenses?
  • What type of transportation will you need?
  • Do you need to rebuild your relationships? If so, how are you going to do that?

You may not have answers to many of these questions right away, and that’s okay. Developing your plan often takes time, and revisions are expected. However, by asking them now, you give yourself time to think about the answers that make sense rather than getting stuck in an uncomfortable position when you are released. In fact, you can use your plan as an opportunity to explore new options and chase new dreams.

How to Write Your Post-Sentence Plan 

Many people who end up in federal prison for the first time have no experience with the criminal legal system. It’s often difficult to make plans that account for the realities of reentering society. Making plans for living arrangements while you are incarcerated can be very stressful. Additionally, your conditions, relationships, and priorities may change during your sentence, requiring you to change your plans. That’s why working with a skilled prison consultant before and during your sentence is in your best interest. 

An experienced prison consultant like Tara Lenich of Liberty Advisors has first-hand knowledge of the criminal justice and prison systems that can make a big difference in helping you plan for life before, during and after incarceration.

Your consultant can help you formulate a prison release plan that’s tailored to the specifics of your sentence and your goals when you get out. They can prepare you for the challenges you may face as you try to accomplish those goals, such as where you’ll live, how you’ll follow your probation requirements and more. 

Plan for Your New Life With Liberty Advisors

Everything is more stressful when you don’t know what to expect. Leaving prison is no different. Having a strategy can help you avoid common reentry mistakes and make your return to society much smoother. Tara Lenich and Liberty Advisors can help. We will work with you one-on-one to develop a plan that fits your needs. We can also work with your loved ones to ensure they know what to expect when you come home. Learn more about how we can help you prepare for the end of your sentence by reaching out to our federal prison consulting firm today.


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