Release from prison often seems like only a physical release, especially in the early days. Reintegration into society is extremely difficult. Research says that more than half the number of ex-felons are back in the prison system in a short time.
Here are some books that help felons who are now finding their way back into society.
Best Books for Ex-felons
1. Beyond Bars: Rejoining Society After Prison
A great read for ex-convicts. It is best to read this book while still in prison and prepare for what release entails. It has clear inputs on dealing with immediate concerns like money, coping with family, finding employment, and staying away from illegal and self-harming activities. The book provides links to free resources that provide supportive services to ex-offenders.
2. The Dedicated Ex Prisoner’s Guide To Life And Success On The Outside
This guidebook lists in detail ten rules that can both help you stay out of prison and be successful. It contains invaluable advice on how to cultivate the right mindset required for success. The book gives clear pointers on how to ensure an ex-offender goes back to prison. This book should also be read by those in charge of preventive prison programs and halfway houses.
3. Getting Out And Staying Out: A Black Man’s Guide To Success After Prison
A short, quick read, this book is especially helpful to African-American men released from prison. The book has four broad focus areas: (i) how to make productive use of the time while in prison, (ii) preparing for release when still in prison, (iii) self-employment or entrepreneurship as the long-term plan for the released ex-convict, and (iv) the importance of forging and maintaining long-term relationships.
4. Chicken Soup for The Prisoner’s Soul
Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s soul was once distributed free of charge in prisons across the United States. The book shares inspirational tales that offer hope and encouragement and forgiveness and reconciliation. Given the demand from the public, the authors finally released it for public consumption.
5. Man’s Search For Ultimate Meaning
This book, written by a Viktor E. Frankl, is about endurance, hope, and survival in very degrading, traumatic conditions. It explores the sometimes unrecognized and unvoiced need of a human being for inspiration. This book explores the individual’s path to find meaning and purpose in life.
6. We’re All Doing Time
A truly inspirational book for people from any faith, culture, or social class. In the foreword, His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, calls this book a practical manual for those who want to help themselves and help others. The book shares simple, age-old truths that focus on rehabilitation and self-improvement. All proceeds from this book go towards sending these books, free of charge, to prisoners.
7. The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose
At 17, sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, Chris Wilson chose to take charge of his life. He created the Master Plan and worked at it daily. Studying, working out, even starting a small business. In his mid-thirties, he convinced a judge to let him walk free. Today, a successful businessman, he employs people returning to society after a prison term. This truly inspirational memoir is a must-read for anyone who has ever been to prison.
8. Clean Slate: 9 Secrets to Getting a Job, Even With a Felony
Finding a job is difficult for an ex-felon. Yet, getting a job and a regular income is critical to not going back to prison. This book gives nine powerful tools to find a good job. These include how to make your resume stand out and techniques to conquer interviews.
9. Support Programs for Ex-offenders
A directory of ex-offender support programs run by individual states, as well as the national government. It gives contact information about all the programs (food, clothing, shelter, employment) available to ex-offenders, their location, and how to access them. This book is an absolute must-read for all ex-felons trying to reintegrate back into society.
10. The Ex-Offender’s Job Hunting Guide: 10 Steps to a New Life in the Work World
Written by two employment experts, this book focuses on what ex-offenders need to do to find a good job that they can do well and enjoy doing. In the beginning, the authors dispel 20 myths about job hunting. In the second section, they outline 22 principles of success. Lastly, they identify ten steps to successfully landing a job.
Commitment, inspiration, guidelines, and focus are crucial to helping an ex-offender stay out of jail once released. These books and others like them give hope, support, encouragement, and clear-cut steps to assisting an ex-felon in successfully reintegrate into society.