This reference guide is a practical tool for helping “shortimers,” or prisoners about to be released, prepare for the next stage in their journey.
Shortimer is a handbook designed to help inmates prepare for release. Much of the information comes from ex-prisoners who understand the weighty issues of reentry and the need for a wide net of support from the church and community.
Since as many as two-thirds of ex-prisoners are rearrested within three years of release, we hope this resource helps prisoners develop a plan to beat that statistic and live with a new mission.
SHORTIMER HANDBOOK TOPICS
Crime is a moral problem requiring a moral solution. Read the story of Bryan Kelley and find out why it is so important for prisoners to be spiritually prepared for a successful reentry. This section concludes with short evangelism message and a brief introduction to Prison Fellowship.
NECESSARY DOCUMENTS, TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING, AND COUNSELING RESOURCES
The sooner you start getting ready, the better things will go when you're released. These sections have information on gathering necessary documents, arranging for transportation, finding short-term housing, and getting counseling for drug and other addictions.
This section also includes a helpful "pre-release success checklist."
Rebuilding your finances is an important goal for reentry. Topics covered in this section include getting out of debt, developing a spending plan for life, and repairing your credit history.
HOW TO FIND A CHURCH
Having a good church home is a vital part of successful reentry. This section gives tips on finding a church and getting involved in the life of the congregation.
ADJUSTING EXPECTATIONS AND MAKING DECISIONS
Prison changes people. These sections provide insight on making the necessary mental adjustment from the highly-restricted, regulated environment of prison back to the world of personal decision making and accountability.
Getting a job is one of the top priorities for rebuilding your life. This section offers helpful strategies for putting together a resume, job hunting, and making a good impression in job interviews.
YOUR FRIENDLY PAROLE OFFICER
If you're getting out on parole, one of your first priorities will be to visit your parole officer. Read about some typical requirements of parole and how to live within the parameters you are given.
OVERCOMING THOSE PESKY TRIGGERS
Going back home may be harder than you think. Learn to recognize the warning signs that things may have taken a wrong turn and how to resist the urges that may lead you back to prison.
ARE YOU A VETERAN?
This section discusses the Department of Veterans Affairs' programs aimed at helping released veterans make a successful transition into the community.
PARTING ADVICE AND SHORTIMER RESOURCE APPENDICES
These sections are packed with contact information you may need, including State Repositories of Criminal Records, State Departments of Labor, State Attorney Generals, and many other government and non-profit agencies. Listings were last updated in June 2017, so we recommend you double-check each resource for accuracy.