Are there Financial Assistance For Released Prisoners? Being released from prison will prove to be overwhelming. You likely haven’t been out in the world for many years.
In prison, you live in a controlled environment with limited responsibilities. While you’ll want to return to normalcy, doing so will prove to be very difficult. You’ll have to learn how to adapt to the world and begin handling certain responsibilities again.
Suffice to say, it can be very difficult for nearly released prisoners. If this is something you’re preparing for, it is pertinent to take advantage of financial assistance programs.
Doing so will prove to be well worth it since it’ll remove some of the burdens from your shoulders. What benefits are provided to prisoners being released? Within this article, readers will learn more about the programs designed to help newly released prisoners.
Financial Assistance For Released Prisoners
A Challenging Road
Many people believe that it is easy to transition back to the normal world, but this isn’t the case. Unfortunately, it’ll prove to be a daunting task. You must remember that prisoners live in structured, controlled environments.
These individuals do not get the chance to find jobs, pay bills, and handle other mundane responsibilities. It is estimated that 600,000 or more Americans are released from prison each year.
These individuals are released from federal and state prisons. Although that is a lot of people, limited programs are designed to help these individuals.
As a result, it can be difficult for prisoners to integrate into society. Some progress has been made to simplify this for newly released prisoners, but it hasn’t been enough. The federal government recently passed the Second Chance Act.
Furthermore, 35 states have implemented plans to stop employers from asking about criminal histories on applications. Nevertheless, more must be done to accommodate those exciting prisons across the country.
It is essential for prisoners to learn more about the issues they’ll encounter when exiting prison. Research has proven that formerly incarcerated Americans will face numerous difficulties when leaving prison.
For instance, most are going to have difficulty leaving prison and finding a job. Others will likely have to pay immense debts. Plus, there is a stigma around people who’ve been convicted.
Individuals who just left prison will have more difficulty getting a job and finding an affordable rental because people think they’re more problematic.
Research shows that more than six million people can’t vote because they were convicted of felonies. Nearly 30% of former inmates were still jobless in 2018. The national average at the time was only 4%.
In the United States, more than 2 million people are currently incarcerated. Former inmates make 40% less each year than they did before they went to prison. Many of these people will face extensive debts due to their criminal trials.
Preparing For Release
Ultimately, it is pertinent for former inmates to prepare for their release. Remember that nobody is going to prepare for you. If you have assistance on the outside, these individuals can make a big difference.
They’ll help you find suitable housing. Plus, they can help you find a viable job. Unfortunately, some inmates do not have assistance. If you fit into this category, you need to do everything you can while waiting for your release.
It is a good idea to find out about halfway houses in your area. Find out what resources will be available to you when you leave prison.
Do whatever you can while you’re behind bars. Talk to your counselor and other professionals to see if they can help you find a job and housing for your upcoming release.
First, you need to make sure that you’re ready to improve. Are you ready to begin working a job and paying rent? Sadly, many prisoners have extra problems. For instance, someone might be addicted to illegal substances.
You might have a mental health or anger problem. If you fit into one of these categories, you need to go above and beyond to resolve these problems.
Remember that most prisons provide inmates with access to treatment services. You might be able to attend a counseling session every week.
Doing so will prove to be well worth it. Start working on sorting yourself out. By the time you leave prison, you’ll be a much better person. Your mental problems will be in check so you can begin focusing on finding a job and getting ahead.
Establish Educational Goals
You must remember that prisoners have access to certain programs. In many cases, prisoners have the chance to go back to school. Incarcerated individuals should be able to obtain a GED or high school diploma from behind bars.
Getting a GED will prove to be very helpful. It’ll give you one step toward successfully reentering society. Many jobs won’t hire people unless they have a GED.
Once you’ve obtained a diploma or GED, you’ll be closer to obtaining a good job. Remember that having more education will boost your chances of getting a job.
Therefore, you should take advantage of these educational opportunities in prison.
Remember that many jobs are going to require you to have experience and training. Unfortunately, you can’t obtain much experience from prison because you’re going to be locked down throughout the day.
Nevertheless, you can obtain sufficient training. Many prisons provide work programs to keep their inmates busy. It is wise to sign up for one of these programs.
When you begin working in prison, you’ll find out what it takes to work hard every day. You’ll also learn how to work with your hands. The job training you obtain behind bars can be helpful when you leave prison.
The majority of prisons have job programs. Some provide more training than others, but they’re still worth your time. You’ll also want to talk to social workers and prison counselors.
Depending on the prison in question, prisoners can likely access various vocational training programs. Some of the training programs available include CDL, CADD, auto mechanics, business education, carpentry, custodial maintenance, and more.
You should enroll in one of these programs to prepare for a career once you’ve been released into the free world.
Gather What You Need
It is vital to understand that you’re going to need certain items. Whether you’re trying to obtain assistance, get a job, or find affordable housing, you’ll need to provide certain documents. You’ll have to confirm your identity.
Plus, you may need to provide the company with your birth certificate. You’re going to need a driver’s license. You can’t get one until you can prove your identity.
Make sure that you have a social security card and birth certificate. You can use these documents to get a driver’s license in your respective state.
If your ID is still valid, you likely won’t have to worry about this.
Look For Housing
Once you leave prison, you need to secure affordable housing. Unfortunately, rent prices have climbed significantly across the country. Therefore, it won’t be easy to get a job that can cover your rental costs.
It is a good idea to see what assistance programs are available. You might be able to temporarily live in a shelter. Although nobody wants to do this for the long-term, it’ll be worth it.
You’ll save a lot of money while living at a shelter or halfway house. Before you’re released, you should learn more about the options available to you.
Talk to your counselor and social worker. These professionals can help you find an affordable rental. Once you’ve found a place to live, it’ll remove a lot of anxiety from your shoulders. Then, you can focus on getting a job and making money.
Developing A Plan
Being released from prison will prove to be overwhelming. You’ll likely worry that something is going to go awry. It could. You never know what will happen. With this in mind, you should do your best to minimize the risks.
One of the best ways to do that is by creating a plan. It is essential to prepare for everything. You need to develop a plan that accounts for everything.
Find out what you’re going to do and how you’re going to make and manage money. Your plan should cover potential problems too. Having a plan will put your mind at ease.
Work with your counselor to develop a thorough plan. If something happens, you can always depend on your plan.
Sticking with it ensures that you’re going to continue thriving after you’ve been released from prison. A thorough game plan will reduce your anxiety because you’ll always have something to fall back on.
If you need access to affordable housing, you should begin searching for shelters in your area. You can also check with the National Housing Law Project and Catholic Charities. These organizations can help point you in the right direction.
You can also search for private landlords. Just remember that the prices will be more expensive.
Certain companies are willing to hire felons. In general, Walmart and Kroger regularly hire former inmates. You can also work for companies that have taken the Fair Chance Pledge.
The Center for Employment Opportunities may help you find a decent job. It can be difficult to find companies willing to hire former inmates. Continue working hard until you find a job that works well for you.
Determine If You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits After Prison
Every released inmate should determine if they qualify for Social Security benefits. Just because you were incarcerated does not disqualify you from government benefits. In fact, a released inmate can qualify for Social Security if they meet the specific requirements.
One requirement is related to your physical capabilities. To qualify for Social Security disability, you must be deemed “disabled” by a licensed medical professional.
A licensed physician will assess your physicality to determine if you can no longer perform work activities before incarceration. This is just one requirement as there are quite a few more.
Once it is determined that your medical condition prohibits you from working, you can move to the next requirement.
The children of newly released inmates who qualified for Social Security Disability Insurance “SSDI” may also qualify.
For your child to qualify, he must under 18 years of age. The age limit is increased to 22 for disabled children of released inmates.
Spouses of released inmates 62 years of age or older may also qualify for SSDI. Spouses under the age of 62 who are taking care of children under the age of 16 can also qualify.
This also includes spouses of released inmates who are taking care of children with disabilities under the age of 22.
What Happens When Released Inmates Receiving SSDI Benefits Are Convicted Other Crimes?
To remain eligible for SSDI benefits, released inmates must avoid committing new crimes. There is no guarantee that you will always qualify for SSDI.
If you are convicted of a new crime(s) after qualifying for SSDI, you will lose your benefits. However, your children and spouse will continue to receive SSDI payments.
It is crucial for released prisoners to do whatever is necessary to avoid recidivism. It is unfortunate that many released inmates do not have family support. This alone increases their risk of future reentry.
Gate Money is just one way the government helps released inmates acclimate back into society. Those who do not have family support can turn to public programs released inmate self-help groups.
What Benefits Do Released Prisoners Get?
Government aid is available to qualifying individuals recently released from incarceration. According to the Social Security Administration “SSA,” some released inmates may qualify for disability, Supplemental Security Income “SSI”, and Social Security retirement benefits.
One requirement to qualify for SSI is the individual must be at least 65 years of age.
Do Prisoners Get Money On Release?
Prisoners released back into society can qualify for “Gate Money.” Most state governments give inmates money in the form of a prepaid debit card upon their release.
Officials believe the first 72 hours are crucial in the lives of newly released prisoners. The Gate Money can help make the inmates make better decisions to avoid recidivism. Gate Money is generally limited to a few hundred dollars.
How Much Money Do Released Prisoners Get?
The state allowance provided to inmates upon prison release is between $50 and $200. The money is to be utilized for transportation and other essentials.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.