All former inmates deserve a second chance. Interacting with current and former inmates raises attention to their plight that led some of them to crime. Some people also end up being inmates for crimes they did not commit. Their prison experiences affect them, causing them to leave prisons as different people. However, regardless of their innocence or guilt, they all require support to ease their transition into society.
Many inmates face stigma following prison release. Their deteriorated socioeconomic and emotional statuses predispose them to recidivism. Instead, society members, especially believers, should provide Christian support for ex-inmates and ease their transition into society. Christians should consider several factors when providing support to former inmates:
Mending Past Relationships
Many previously harmonious relationships deteriorate after sentencing because inmates lose contact with family members and friends. One example could be inmates sentenced to out-of-state prisons. Other relationships are ruined because of the involved offenses. Consequently, an integral step in transitioning back into society entails mending broken relationships. Religious leaders have a central role in promoting inmates' ability to reconcile with their family members. For example, church leaders may provide Christian support for ex-inmates by mentoring them on the importance of seeking and offering forgiveness. Mending broken relationships provides former inmates with a social support system integral to their acceptance in society.
Providing Communal Support
No one can survive in isolation. It is human nature to want to belong to a community and feel loved. Members should provide communal support to protect former inmates against recidivism. At the church level, believers may provide Christian support for ex-inmates by showing them love as commanded by Christ. Believers should also readily forgive former inmates, which is integral to accepting them back in society. Providing Christian support for former inmates creates a sense of belonging even for non-believers. Consequently, the former inmates may seek redemption and convert to Christianity. Additionally, believers should provide support for ex-inmates to set a positive example to other society members.
Supporting Former Inmates' Long-Term Well-Being
Following prison release, many former inmates may be shunned by society, including lacking employment opportunities. Moreover, some inmates were sentenced as juveniles and may lack the required skills to secure employment. In such instances, providing support for ex-inmates may include taking them to vocational training schools. At the institutions, the former inmates may acquire carpentry, masonry, and other technical skills, increasing their self-dependence. Providing Christian support for former inmates through economic empowerment prepares them for long-term well-being, reducing their recidivism.
For more information about supporting former inmates, contact a local organization, like Restored By Christ.Share