Inmates not wanting to be released from behind bars

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Typically getting released from behind bars can serve as a new beginning for most inmates.

They’re eager to be released, eager to leave the barbed wire fences and the cell behind, and re-enter society.

However, for some inmates that’s not always the case.

“We like to refer to those as prisonazation,” said Steven Woodruff, a criminal investigator for the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. “They have anxiety about returning to the free world and their normal habits, daily routine, it’s what they become used to in prison.”

“I do know that sometimes people are conditioned to a prison lifestyle unfortunately, and it makes it difficult for them to transition back into the civilian lifestyle,” said District Attorney for the 16th Judicial District.

Woodruff believes homelessness, not being able to adapt to society, and getting comfortable being in the same environment for so long are a few reasons why some inmates don’t want to re-enter society.

“They don’t have anybody in the free world,” said Woodruff. “They don’t have any family to help support them, they have no jobs, so it’s kind of like an insurance policy. When they’re in prison they’ve got their meals taken care of, they got their healthcare taken care of, they got a place to sleep, it’s warm or it’s cool in the summer, it’s a sense of home for them.”

Re-acclimating to the outside can often times be a rough transition for inmates.

“I think that if you are around certain people for too long that you get adjusted to a certain way, and I think prison needs to do a better job of probably transitioning people back into society so they can be ready for that different environment,” said Colom.

Colom believes there should be more halfway homes throughout the state.

He also adds prisons need to do a better job talking with inmates about what to expect once they’re released, as well as implementing things such as weekend passes and other programs to get them ready for life after prison.

“We need to make sure that we support people that are being released, because we want to make sure that we put them in a position where they don’t commit any more future crimes and nobody else is victimized,” Colom expressed.

There are also instances when someone has been released from prison and they’re back home but they’re are having a hard time getting adjusted back into society.

As a result, they’ll commit another crime just to go back in.

However, there are multiple prisoner re-entry programs throughout the state to help solve this problem.

For information on those programs just visit for more information.

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