Make the most of your time
It is never too soon to start making better choices. Jail or Prison can be a dangerous, depressing place to be; but it also gives you time (sorry) to think, learn, and grow. Below you’ll find resources to help you make the best of your time whether it’s a few months or decades.
We urge you to begin being the person you want to be NOW. Whether you’ve just been convicted, your browsing from a computer lab in prison, or you’re recently released. There is no magic that happens when you step outside those prison walls. If you want to be sober you start in prison – regardless of the availability or what anyone else does. You make a decision to stay sober, find supports (like AA, NA, religious services, etc…), and spend your time as productively as possible. If you want to lead a productive healthy life – start where you’re at. Find work whether it’s paid or not. Taking on responsibilities and meeting those responsibilities is one of the hallmarks of adulthood. Improve your education. If you don’t have a High School diploma – go for it. If you’re afraid you’re not ready, or you know you’re not ready, find someone who can teach you the basics of reading and math. Spend your time improving yourself. Read everything you can, and write everyone you know. Take every class available.
Do everything you can to stay out of the politics and games. It’s not always possible, but if you can do your time quietly, you’ll be much better off. Write everyone you know. Start the conversations you wish you had earlier. If you have parents, a spouse, or kids, write them every week or more. Tell the truth when they ask questions and show them the real you. Don’t make excuses for your choices and don’t demand anything from them. Whether or not you’re guilty of the particular crime you’re in prison for, you put yourself in that situation. Own it. If you can do that, then you can begin to plan for a whole different kind of future.
Make the most of your time [links / pdfs]
- Prison Survival
- Federal Prison
- Solitary Confinement
- Surviving Solitary Confinement – American Friends Service Committee
Decide who you are, take responsibility for who you were, get help, get right… (that’s where we come in!)
Planning for Release
Start Early (from day 1, or at least 2 years)
Start making concrete plans early. It gives you something positive to focus on and work toward. Examine your resources, skills, and relationships. Set realistic goals and identify what it will take to achieve those goals. Set goals for your first day, week, month, and year in detail.
If you are with an organization that would like to link to, distribute, or contribute to our resources please contact us. If you would like literature on a topic you don’t see here let us know.