The multiplicity of offender’s needs makes the shift from custody to the community a complex task. To prepare inmates for community re-integration, the prisons and the correctional services departments are charged with a task of psychologically preparing inmates for release. To sustain an appropriate conduct and adapt a self supporting style is not an easy task to ex-prisoners. Inmates should be given advice on how to adapt to several aspects of life, how to protect themselves from harm and how to handle challenges arising from today’s changes in the outer communities.
To solve the problem of crime, custodial sentences are not sufficient to reduce cases of re-offending. After the release of inmates from prisons, there have been many cases where most of the inmates relapse into a cycle of a crime afterwards. Before designing any strategy of prisoner re-integration, one must focus on the essential needs that inmates have after their release. Released offenders have similar needs like any other member of the society, such as accommodation, employment and good family relationships. Apart from meeting the basic needs, ex-prisoners have criminogenic needs that require specific treatment programs to be applied. Re –integration can never be successful unless the community is well prepared to accept ex-prisoners back without any reservations.
Before inmates are released, pre- release programs on the basic and cognitive skills are supposed to be carried out to help build up their immunity to crime. Additionally, offenders should be trained on education, behavioral skills, such as parenting, to enhance their capacity of adapting to their new environment. Inmates who have served long sentences find it very difficult to adapt to changes that affect their families; for example, some find it difficult to come in terms with death of their close family members and marriage separation due to the continued absence of their partners.
To succeed in inmate re-integration, it is crucial for the departments concerned to work together in supporting inmates to start life all over again.