Reentry isn’t easy, period. When returning to society after prison, health problems and deep psychological issues can complicate a healthy transition back into society. Sixty-one year old returning citizen *Jerry Jenkins has been at Riverside House for two months. He is currently working on maintaining his health due to his long-term battle with diabetes. On top of that, he is working through some deep-seated anger issues stemming from past struggles.
In an interview with a Riverside House staff member, Jerry opened up about both his struggles and achievements over the course of his time at Riverside House. He stated that upon arriving at Riverside House, he had trouble controlling his anger and his bad attitude caused him to get into trouble. He would impulsively lash out at other clients when they expressed a difference of opinion or when he felt they were acting “immature”.
However, with time he has become better controlling his anger, and has learned to be more open to views and opinions of others different from his own. He stated that the staff taught him how to look at things with a different perspective, and when he did have an “episode”, they would help calm him down and figure out what was really going on. When he did He wanted the Riverside staff to know their professionalism towards him did not go unnoticed, and that he really did appreciate their patience with him.
Jerry praised the staff saying they were nothing but kind and understanding towards him. He placed special emphasis on the chaplaincy program and stressed how vital it is to recovery. He also gave accolades to the employment department that was always there to answer his questions.
Additionally, Jerry is grateful for the special dietary consideration Riverside House gave him taking into consideration his diabetes. He said that as a diabetic, he requires foods that are low in sugar, and labeled as “diet” so that he can maintain his health.
Overall, Jerry’s testimony was extremely positive. Our staff is encouraged by the kind words this client had to say, and look forward to his continued success in the programs here at Riverside House.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the individual.