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Within six months of your release date, work with your counselor to begin making a list of what you need to accomplish prior to release; what you will need post release, and how to successfully make a transition back as a returning citizen. Write down all the questions you are thinking about and the information you need to help you make the right choices. For example: Housing: Do I need a place to live?
Check on resources available with the VA or in the community Check on monthly rent, security deposits, and other expenses
Do I need a job? Check on skills, classes, or certifications available at the facility Find out about employment assistance programs being offered in the community where I will be returning Check on re-entry resources available for veterans being released from jail or prison Basic Needs: Make a budget with available income resources Check on community resources for work clothing Work on budgeting skills; ability to spend and save money or use an ATM debit/credit card Check on where to go to obtain food assistance-food stamps, food pantries Make a list of all medical and mental health care while in jail/prison, including a list of medications, dosage, and how often I need to take them If able, get a copy of medical records to bring to the VA for ongoing health care needs (if eligible) Other checklist items include: What benefits am I eligible for as a veteran? Make a list of places to go to obtain addiction treatment and health care treatment and mental health care
Find out about how much owed in child support and where to pay Find out about any legal fees, court fines, costs, and restitution
This is your checklist, it may or may not look like another person’s checklist. It is based on your individual needs to prepare you for release and help you succeed in the community.
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