Prisonology founder Walt Pavlo discusses life after an encounter with the federal justice system.
Even for a short prison term, the entire experience of being a part of the federal justice system can last for many years. However, now that your interaction is complete with the U.S. criminal justice system, you have have to resume life. This section presents some insights into how people have moved on after prison to once again become contributing members of society.
Forgive yourself. It is probably the hardest thing to do, even if you do not agree with your conviction, you need to quickly put this experience behind you.
Implement a plan that puts you on a new career path. Your old occupation may not be possible, but be eager to move on to something else.
Brush up on technical skills that offer job opportunities where a felony may not be viewed unfavorably. Construction, welding, cooking, bar tending, are all things to consider.
Write a book, but do not expect to make a million dollars. Everyone has a story in them.
Speaking about your crime and prison term can be cathartic but it is not as lucrative as many have been led to believe. Think twice about committing yourself to a profession of speaking about your crime. In addition, once you go on the speaking tour it is hard to remove the 'felon' label.
If you have restitution, Under 18 U.S.C Sections 3572, 3611-3613 and 3663-3664, the liability to pay a fine or restitution continues for 20 years after the entry of judgement or after the defendant is released from prison.
Get your voting rights restored. These vary by state but most states have a quick path for you to be able to get your right to vote restored.
After prison you can travel throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories, however, some countries will not permit you to enter if you have a felony conviction in the U.S. For instance, Canada strictly prohibits those with U.S. felonies from entering the country without asking for permission. Other countries have similar requirements.
Walt Pavlo (Prisonology) Life After
"I was incarcerated from 2001-2003 and returned home to a much different life. Divorced, financially ruined and distant from friends and family. Over time, life improved but it took a while, a long while.
The reason that it was difficult for me is that I did not prepare for the experience. I was scared and that fear kept me from looking forward and making plans for my life after prison. It took a number of years after I was released from prison to understand that I could have done much more to make my life better after prison.
Prison is survivable and, put in proper perspective, is the least of all the punishments. At its worse it prevents someone from attending to real issues a felony causes (loss of income, strain on family, finding a new job, etc.), at its best prison provides a time to physically and mentally recharge. You will never have time like this again.
There is life after prison and most of the issues that people have are due to their fear of rejection. Those who had a steady work career may not have had to deal with job offer rejections. After prison, in light of some restrictive hiring practices, it may take 10-15 job interviews to land a job. Getting back in the game is important and a necessary part of recovery.
There is a life after prison and it is different, but it is a life worth living."