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Prison News

Families, Friends, & the Returning Citizen



There are many obstacles that await the returning citizen from prison. He or she will need a safe place to stay and a job. There are other barriers for the returning citizen to climb including most importantly resuming relationships with family and friends. There will be friends and family members that should be avoided if they have contributed to your actions that led to your arrest and incarceration.

On the other hand, there will be friends and family members, who will avoid you because of your bad decisions and your imprisonment. It would be unrealistic for the former inmate not to expect negative responses upon the return to the outside world. If the returning citizen wants to succeed in the path to a new life, he or she needs to expect and mentally prepare for the negative reactions.

If you are fortunate, you will have genuine support from some family members and friends. It is important for the returning citizen to remember that quality is always better than quantity.

I remember attending a funeral of an old friend shortly after release from state prison. The widow appreciated my coming to the funeral. Two friends, a husband and wife, looked and turned away from me. Their reaction was not unexpected but it was important for me to pay my respects to the deceased and his grieving family.

I have been lucky to have a wife, some family members, and a few friends to be there for me in all ways during my return as a citizen to my local community. Many returning citizens do not have any family or friends in their corner.

In the end, it is important that any former inmate not allow any negative reaction to stop a successful re-entry into society.

By: Bradley Schwartz
Founder of