Your Exit Plan

Your Exit Plan

a/o May 2, 2014

YOUR EXIT PLAN

A common denominator between former inmates who succeed and those who return to jail or prison is most often their “Exit Plan” and whether they have one PRIOR to their leaving jail or prison, and following it after their release. We have put together this hand-out as a guide to help you formulate your personal Exit Plan. We hope you find this information beneficial, and that ultimately it will help you be successful in staying out of jail or prison in the future. We are willing to help you if you need any information or guidance in formulating your Exit Plan.

At HOLLYWOOD IMPACT STUDIOS, we believe that you need to start any important decision with prayer. So start by earnestly praying about your Exit Plan. Think about how you will implement this Exit Plan, and how to ensure that by following this plan you will not return to jail or prison.

____________________________

The following are things that need to be part of this Exit Plan:

WHEN YOU FIRST ARRIVE IN JAIL OR PRISON:

Your Exit Plan should start from the moment you first arrive in jail or prison. Don’t just “do time,” start working on the issues that got you here. What do you need to fix – emotionally, physically, spiritually?

  • What programs does your institution offer? If you’re not a high school graduate, do they offer a high school diploma or GED program? If so, get enrolled! Do they have an Celebrate Recovery, AA, or NA program? Any job training programs like JOBS FOR LIFE? or any vocational programs? Get plugged into their religious programs – Malachi Men, Bible Study, or church services, or all of the above.
  • What medical or dental programs do they offer? Need to get your teeth fixed? When was the last time you had a physical check-up?

These programs are here to benefit you, use your time of incarceration to your benefit and to prepare you for when you leave jail or prison.

SIX MONTHS FROM RELEASE:

This is the time to put in the hard work to formalize your plan, write it down and prepare to put it into action. Throughout this process, keep on your knees before the Lord. Below are a few things you need to decide:

  • Where are you going to live? Obviously you need to decide which city or community you want to live in after leaving jail or prison. Many of our guys who have succeeded have told us that they need to NOT go back to their old neighborhood. One of our guys, who was from Palmdale, moved to Long Beach. When I asked him why, he said, “Because I don’t know a single person in Long Beach. I feel I need to truly start over.”
  • Which Support/Group/Sober Living home are you going to move into? Again, our guys that seem to succeed don’t go from jail or prison right back home. You have to remember that during your time of incarceration, you’ve been living an extremely structured life. It’s hard to go from that to total freedom. Most of our guys can’t make that adjustment overnight.

For those of you who have addiction issues, you need to look at the time of incarceration as a “gift of sobriety.” Keep building on it by getting into some type of support living environment which will help you with this issue.

  • What AA, NA, or Celebrate Recovery meeting is nearby? To continue this “gift of sobriety” you’ve got to get yourself into some type of 12 step program, immediately! We like Celebrate Recovery because it deals with more than alcohol or drug addiction, it deals with other issues that may need to be tackled. But AA and NA are also great organizations. Whichever one you decide, get plugged in quickly.
  • Choose a sponsor! You need to get a sponsor as quickly as possible. He/she is there to help you succeed.
  • Which LASD Continuum meeting are you going to attend? When you are released, you need support groups. Let us say again, YOU NEED SUPPORT GROUPS. The continuum meeting is another one of those groups that is there exclusively to help you succeed. So attend one weekly. Have your family attend prior to your release so they too are prepared to help you succeed. (A list of locations is supplied with this document.)
  • What are you going to do for money? When you are released, you’re going to need money for clothes, food, phone, etc. Where is that money going to come from? It may come from family, Government Assistance, or a job. If all else fails, contact a day labor company such as “LABOR READY,” which hires day laborers.

THREE MONTHS FROM RELEASE:

With a firm exit plan in place, start reaching out to the group homes you’re interested in. Let them know your plans and approximate release date. Do they offer scholarships or are they free? Once accepted, how are you going to get there? Some group homes like VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA have transportation available.

Continue going through the EXIT PLAN WORKSHEET and contacting everyone on that sheet. If they don’t answer you, choose another one. You need this worksheet completed prior to your release.

ONE MONTH FROM RELEASE:

Confirm with everyone on your worksheet that they’re still ready for you upon your release. Give them as exact a date of release as you can. Arrange transportation to your “new home” away from jail or prison. Get prepared!

RELEASE DATE:

Follow through with your Exit Plan – every step of it. Leave jail or prison behind FOREVER! Welcome to your exciting new life!

# # # #