New Life On Release From Prison - By 'Dan'



I am a recently released prisoner and I have been browsing through your blog frequently. It appears that many partners and families of prisoners have certain expectations when their loved-ones are released.
I had plenty of high-hopes and dreams whilst I was lay on bed in prison. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with that, it keeps us cons ticking and gives us something to look forward to when the prison gate opens. I was a long-term prisoner - not a lifer - but I served long enough. If there's one thing I can guarantee, it's that you certainly don't come out of prison the same person as you were before you went in. The same can be said for families of prisoners too. People change. Some partners get tougher, some move on to another relationship and some stand by their man throughout the whole journey. There's nothing wrong with any of those examples. My partner said she got in to a routine, and after a while she said it never got easier, just more bearable. We mastered the art of telephone voice tone. She knew when I was having a bad day, and I knew when she was down. I had the phone slammed down on me a fair few times too when I asked her for some money I could put towards my telephone credits, unaware that she was in debt with her utility bills. It's things like that, that do your head in because we can't contribute.
Release from prison is a daunting time for prisoners. I soon realised that my dreams and high-hopes of making my fortune - legally may I add - were some distance away. I was catapulted back in to the real world surrounded by money worries, bills and debt. It had been some time since I had to worry about those.  
As selfish as it may sound, I hadn't thought about any of that stuff for years - I didn't have to!
I figured that I needed a job to support my family and help to pay off some debts. The Jobcentre had changed and had electronic job search machines now instead of the old boards with job vacancies advertised on them. I applied for a few factory jobs and was sure to hear from them. Wrong. Two weeks later, I was told that over 200 people went for one of those jobs, packing books. All in all, I have applied for over 30 jobs, mainly factory and production line ones. I am still on Jobseekers Allowance and I am earning every penny of it! Release from prison for me, has been the biggest shock to my system yet. Call me stupid and naive, I don't mind, because the truth is I am - along with hundreds of other prisoners right now who are lay on their bed planning out their futures. Sure, the lovely welcome home parties are great and the sex with your partner is fantastic. But the parties end and your new life begins - but where?

( From 'Dan' Via PFV Email )