|Having spent time in prison, for some leaving can be a very traumatic experience. Listen to what Matt has to say:|
When people leave prison, where do they go? Where are they welcome?
Re-integrating people who were in prison back into their community is key to developing their self-esteem, self-worth and sense of belonging. Local support groups and pre-release programmes are important and essential in the transition from prison to the community.
Many prisoners find it difficult to adjust to life in the community after they have been released from prison. The prison environment does not help to rehabilitate prisoners back into the community. The lack of control prisoners have over their daily routine undermines the sense of control they have over their lives and makes it difficult to adjust to living independently again. Some prisoners have reported that it is a confusing and daunting experience to go out in public or to take care of practicalities such as applying for jobseekers’ allowance. Others have described that they find it difficult to find stability without the daily structure and companionship they were used to. Some prisoners have no place to stay.
For many ‘re-integration’ is: re-integration back to the same homelessness that brought me into the prison in the first place, re-integration onto drug infested streets and areas where violence and fear rule the day and ruin the lives of the many young men and women, reintegration? Was I ever integrated in the first Instance? (Prison Chaplain Report 2005)