Life after prison is never straightforward.
Take Brian. He was sent to prison aged 16. He's due for release in a couple of months, now in his early 20s. How's he feeling?
I'm frightened about how I will cope on my own.
Brian will go to a hostel first. He doesn't know where and it's unlikely he will know until a few days before release.
He wants to go back to college because, despite almost six years in prison, he has no real qualifications. Of course, getting qualifications will help him to get a job but because of his criminal record many colleges will be reluctant to accept him.
Apart from the 'big stuff' - accommodation, job, money - there's the 'little stuff'. For the last six years everything has been done for him, because in prison everything is done for you. You don't even have to open a door - that's done for you, because the door is always locked. You get up when you're told to, come out of your cell when you're told to, shower when you're told to, eat when you're told to eat and what you're given.
After doing time, doing life is simply terrifying.
Brian may be in his 20s but having come to prison at a young age, he is, in many ways, still the struggling teenager he was back then. Who will help him learn how to live? To cook, to clean, to manage money, to pay bills, to use a computer and to claim benefits or apply for college or jobs? He has no friends he can call on and some of the major bonds of family were broken long ago.
Sadly, we can't fix what has been broken but In2Out can help to mend some parts. We can walk alongside Brian when he gets out as he learns to live as an independent adult for the first time. Having worked with Brian in custody, we wanted to confirm whether he wanted In2Out's support on release.
His emphatic answer was:
Yes. Please. I need all the help I can get.