About 600,000 men and women, roughly 1,600 a day, will be released from state and federal prisons this year to return to their communities. According to Michael Johnson, the moment of re-entry can raise fears and anxieties about daily living. The stress of normal life activities, such as searching for housing, employment, treatment, and health care, or something as simple as getting a driver's license, can result in a return to self-defeating mindsets and behaviors. The reality of coming home can also trigger a mixed set of emotions for family members. Plus the transition from confinement in prison to freedom on the street poses unique traps for prisoners with a history of substance abuse.
With a group of residents at Crossroads Adult Transition Center in Chicago, Illinois, Michael addresses successful strategies for re-entry back into the community by focusing on lifestyle changes, and emphasizing the importance of having a strong support system to help you avoid the traps of falling back into your old lifestyle of alcohol, drugs and crime.
Johnson also emphasizes the importance of setting goals and staying focused on your basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and transportation. He also discusses the importance of tolerance, patience and endurance as a way to avoid the challenges of re-entry.