In life, there are rarely situations that are black and white. Even the Constitution, the steadfast code by which we are governed, had to be amended 27 times. Committing a crime isn’t black and white either. It’s not simply that good guys don’t commit crimes and bad guys do. Sure, there are a lot of bad guys that thumb their noses at the law and knowingly commit crimes but there are many others that are just people who get themselves into a bad situation that they can’t get out of. Maybe they are in the grips of a drug and alcohol dependency. Or perhaps they had too much to drink when they were out with friends and their judgments were as impaired as their ability to drive. Or they may not even be aware that they were committing a crime.
People make mistakes but that doesn’t mean they can’t pick themselves up and get back on track and have a good and productive life following the rule of law.
The good news is that help is available but you need to ask. If you have a substance abuse problem, a rehabilitation program may have been a requirement for your parole or probation. If not, get into a program. There’s Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and your local police department will have information on local resources as well. You can also call the national helpline for SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Substance abuse goes hand-in-hand with childhood abuse or other trauma and getting in touch with a mental health professional who can help you understand your feelings is an important step in moving forward.
Get a Job
Unless your jail sentence was suspended or short, you probably lost your job when you were incarcerated. As tempting as it is to lie about your conviction, don’t. Many employers do background checks on potential employees so they’ll find out anyway.
The government gives incentives to some organizations and companies that hire convicted felons and there also may be social services in your area that provide workforce development for ex-convicts. Some companies who have pledged to give people who’ve been convicted of a crime a second chance can be found on Monster.com. Other online resources can be found here.
Get a Hobby
Finding a hobby is a helpful part of the recovery process if you are a recovering addict or alcoholic. An exercise regimen is beneficial for both body and mind but hobbies like playing an instrument, drawing, making birdhouses, etc. can keep your mind occupied on something constructive during recovery. Looking for ways to volunteer to help others in your local community can give you a feeling of achievement and reward that can make life a little easier.
When a person is arrested and convicted of a crime, they may find that some friends and family members have left them behind but there will be those who are there for you through thick and thin. Take the time to nurture these relationships. Of course, if these friends are ones that you used to party with and you have substance abuse issues, it’s best to find new friends to support you in your sobriety.
Life after incarceration may start off as a bumpy road but if you do your best to make smart choices and keep moving forward, you can get back on track and put your criminal past behind you.
If you’ve been arrested, Mercy Bail Bonds is here to help. Call us at (727) 856-7775 and talk with one of our dedicated staff who can get the ball rolling on your release from jail. We’re open 24/7 and we always answer.