What to do when a family member is coming home under supervision.
One of the biggest challenges of coming home is reentering the family. Everything is about to change – again. Being released from prison is like being released into a totally different world. Understand that it might not go smoothly. Adjusting to the outside world takes time. Be supportive and encouraging. Ultimately, the responsibility for positive change belongs with your family member, but your efforts can make a difference.
Understanding Parole’s Expectations:
Your family member will face a host of re-entry challenges, and will be required to meet many conditions, such as:
- Reporting regularly to a Parole Officer
- Abiding by a curfew, if required
- Refraining from drug and/or alcohol use
- Participating in substance abuse treatment and/or mental health programs
- Not associating with known felons
- Finding and keeping a job
The Parole Officer will visit the home at different hours of the day and night, and conduct drug tests. These visits help to keep your family member accountable, and are critical for success under supervision. Developing a good working relationship with the officer will help your family member to be successful.
Returning Home Can Be Hard for Everyone:
How can you make it easier?
- Practice good communication with your family member and the Parole Officer
- Understand your family member’s goals and parole’s expectations
- Encourage interaction with positive influences and role models
- Provide support during the job search process, when going to appointments, etc.
- Ensure that family and household members stay clean too
- Speak with the officer if you have concerns about your family member relapsing - let the officer help before it is too late
- And most importantly…be sure to take care of yourself
Coping with incarceration can be especially hard for children. Here are some resources to help with this difficult topic:
You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family member:
Do you need help with Medical or Mental Health Treatment? Addiction? Child Care? Treatment for Domestic Violence? Employment? Housing? Help is available. Seek out community resources if you need help.
There are thousands of productive “former inmates” in our communities. The New Jersey State Parole Board is committed to providing opportunities for individuals returning home from prison to be successful under supervision.