How to Prepare Yourself for Release
by the Author of 13 Years of College, Ronald Bullock
After serving a significant amount of your prison sentence, there are quite a few things you need to do to prepare yourself for your exodus. I will explain three, and why these are essential to starting your path of being a productive citizen and help decrease the recidivism rate.
Five years in, with nine to go, I concluded that I would be free longer than I would be incarcerated, so I needed to begin my journey immediately.
- Set a five year plan and do something each day that aligns you with your end goal.
In my case with nine years left I decided that I wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree. I had to pass a reading comprehension test since I didn’t score high in that area on my G.E.D. This was required before I could enroll in the Associates degree. So, scoring high enough on the reading compression test was my first goal. Therefore, I began studying to get a high score to enroll into the associate’s degree program, so I could eventually move on to the bachelors program.
- Read daily, whether it’s the newspaper, magazines, or self-help books. Reading allows you to detach from your physical location. Reading also allows you to stay abreast with the ever changing world.
- Find a community organization to communicate with. This community could be your local church, mosque, community center, etc… You want an alliance with a positive and productive circle and these organizations often include resources that will help propel you to success.
In closing, I allowed five years to get past me; but, if I’m asked when an incarcerated person should begin their preparation for their release, I will answer, emphatically: “As soon as possible”! The reason being, it takes quite a while and much discipline to learn, unlearn, and relearn. That is: know what you want in life, unlearn what got you there and relearn what it takes to get you that new life you so desire.