Though this blog is was originally intended as a resource for offenders in Massachusetts, much of what I write about is applicable to sex offenders in every other state and many countries around the world, especially in Western Europe. Even other non-sex offenders trying to navigate prison, probation and parole, or employment and education opportunities can glean relevant information from this blog and apply it to help overcome their own struggles.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Updates and Such

Fall is here and I've been off probation for about two months now and I have to report it is still a good feeling to be off probation!  And I was thinking: I need to update the name of my blog and twitter account to reflect my recent changes.  So my twitter handle is @RSOoffProbation instead of @RSOonProbation.  The blog title has changed also though it may change again.  The web address stays the same for convenience sake.

Though I'm a little delayed in getting into the new apartment, I was able to make a few out of state trips to see friends, which was exciting for me.  I've really had no problems with my new life, other than the usual on again / off again struggle to find one job providing consistent work, but that is nothing new to me and thousands of other RSO's.  It is unfortunate, but many Americans are now experiencing what it is like to be an RSO and long-term unemployed and how that status really affects the obvious (income) as well as health, family, friendships, and general happiness.  There are several well known psychological studies which find if you can't meet your basic needs (housing, food, transportation, etc...), your health and happiness are significantly impacted.  This doesn't mean one needs to make $100k a year; depending on where you live it could be as little as $25k-$30k or even less.  Oddly, maybe this bad economy and stagnant/slumping job market gives the long-term unemployed public an empathetic glimpse into what we RSO's have to endure?  Perhaps not, but maybe.

Finally, I recently did something of a prison orientation with one of my first clients before he started his 4 year prison bid.  Working with him over the phone brought back many of the same fears and anxieties I had before going in and trying to convey the prison experience, what it is like, what to prepare for - all that information, is not so easy to do with a living human as it is to put on a blog post.  I'm confident he'll come out the other side okay.
-Richard