Review of the business and emotional trauma of planning to be absent for a time.
Preparing for Prison
Life can bring unexpected events in our lives. Death of a family member or loved one, divorce, losing a job, illness and yes, being convicted of a crime and sent to prison for incarceration.
Felony convictions and prison incarceration has skyrocketed in the United States where each year a record number of convictions are recorded along with a record number of people being sent to prison. The ‘ol USA, the leader of the free world is sending more people to prison than China, Russia or any other nation in the world. Certainly, as convictions and prison sentences are skyrocketing, so is the number of innocent people being wrongly convicted and sent to prison. Some statistics report as many as twenty two percent (22%) are innocently serving time in prisons.
Preparation for prison, innocent or guilty, requires long range planning and trying to account for all of the “what ifs” which can occur in the years of sitting in a prison cell. Trying to prepare for things which happen next month is harder enough but preparing for events four, ten or fifteen years for now is mind boggling. Single or married, children or no children, such preparation will test the limits of one’s sanity. People make many arrangements for a two week vacation so arranging a life where you will not be part of is truly numbing.
Fortunately, with the number of people being imprisoned, the number of advisers, consultants and the like are entering the business methodology to assist in such difficult matters. Many ex-offenders who were white collar convictions have seen the need to provide a service for this aspect of our society. Nothing better than to utilize someone who has literally, been there and done that!
Things such as making a will or updating a will, long term rentals of storage buildings for possessions, finding power of attorneys for bank accounts or to represent you in legal matters or even with the Internal Revenue Service. Yes, the taxman wants his cut if you have any income, family or otherwise continuing. Also, documents designating medical instructions such as Advanced Healthcare Directives, emergency notification documents and ownership documents. One must plan for divorce or death of a spouse, if married, as these documents, notifications and the like will all change after a “what if” does indeed occur. Sitting in a prison cell with absolutely no ability to change or do anything is a frightening and stressful situation. It is truly an example of life going on.
Preparations such as a will or renting a storage building is a snap compared to planning for the endless amount of “what ifs”. More likely than not, appeals will be underway, lawyers trying to help but requiring to be paid, kids becoming ill, spouse leaving or dying, and on and on. All of this while you are trying to adjust to remaining alive and well in the most dangerous environment known to our society. Fears of being attacked or getting sick or the numerous things which can happen inside prison is just as demanding as your life on the outside you are trying to return.
Needless to say, thinking and keeping yourself safe is the top priority but pursuing a plan to insure you stay fit so something as mundane as your pre-prison clothes fitting upon your release since you will be broke or making up the time lost to your spouse or kids will occupy the mind as well. Missing those Christmases, plays, ballgames, life’s first events for your children, graduations and the like will certainly seem as important as staying alive.
Guilty or innocent, single or married, kids or no kids, preparation for going to prison consists of the many business matters and “what ifs” but also consists of the ever present emotional planning for loved ones and their lives which will go on. Luckily, there are services or people who can help you with both the business or emotional planning for a life behind bars.