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The relationship you had with your relative before and after their return from incarceration will determine how you will feel about the situation. Regardless of your current standing with each other, there are a few ways you can help make the reunion more comfortable and pleasant. Here are 3 ways you can prepare for your relative’s return home from prison.
1. Culture Shock and Adjustment
Existing in the prison system is like leaving the Earth for another planet because there is an entirely different set of rules and standards an inmate has to follow. In prison, you’re stripped of many of the freedoms we take for granted, and your relatives may not know how to adjust to a society that gives them the ability to experiment and act in modern culture.
Adjusting to modern life may also bring on a bout of depression, and they may need your support to set small goals that will propel them to get their life back on track. You can also prepare exercises that will put them in the right state of mind for job searching. If you feel improvement is too slow or nonexistent at any time, consider reaching out to a therapist.
If you’re unaware of when your relative will be released, you can try searching for inmates in Missouri with your relative’s name to understand when you’ll reconnect with them. Knowing the exact date will ensure you’re prepared to take on the emotional toll that’s about to come.
2. Be Prepared to Discuss Complicated Emotions
After seeing your relative for the first time in many years, you may not know how you’re going to react as they walk through the door. You may become incredibly emotional and accidentally say something negative to your relative. To help prevent this, write all of your frustrations down on a piece of paper and edit what you’ll say to them when they arrive.
Your relative may also have some complicated emotions associated with their incarceration and may project their feelings of anger towards you. Be prepared to discuss with them either why it isn’t appropriate or why they feel this way. Ask them what they hope to achieve with this anger and how they can achieve it more effectively in a controlled manner.
You also might feel a deep sense of rejection because it’s been a long time since your relative came home. Try to come to terms with some of these feelings before they arrive. Your relatives may also feel rejected, but be sure to remind them that you love them.
3. Keep Them Away From Negative Influences and Drugs
While it’s absolutely wrong to assume your loved one developed a drug addiction in prison because there is no guarantee that’s the case. However, it’s better to prepare your home if that possibility is true. If you currently have alcohol or drugs in your home, you must remove them before visiting you. Hiding drugs could cause problems for yourself and your relatives.
It’s better to push your relatives to improve their situation and not remind them of their past misgivings. They’ve done their time and are now adjusting to society, and they need help to get back on their feet. If they currently have a drug addiction, you should seek help in the medical community to ease them from addiction with care, love, and support.
Discuss with your loved ones if there were negative influences during their incarceration so you can be aware of them. To prepare for this, you may want to send them a letter asking them what they may need that may prevent them from improving.