Help upon release from custody - the way back into society
"The real punishment begins after the prison term" - this is how many released prisoners assess their almost hopeless way back into society. A prison sentence tears the prisoner out of his former life. On the day of release, most of them are entirely on their own and nearly out of funds. Without family, without friends, without work, without money and without accommodation the released prisoner is expected to manage a restart.
After two years imprisonment, Richard was released from custody. Now he is free, but without social contacts, without a flat, without a job and without money. Every year, thousands of people in Austria are released from custody. Nearly all of them dream of a new beginning. Sadly, what follows is often a nightmare. At first released, then abandoned - that is the bitter reality for many of them.
Taking all hurdles with NEUSTART
Left all alone
On their release, the majority of the prison inmates is left without any social contacts. The most important safety net for released prisoners - the security of a strong social network - is missing. By attending to released prisoners and establishing special clubs and associations, NEUSTART wants to create a new social environment. The offers range from shared problem solving up to joint leisure activities.
No roof over one's head
Lacking laundry facilities, no opportunity to prepare a warm meal, all of these are problems that do not only increase the frustration but also the risk of a repeat offence. NEUSTART tries to improve the living situation and actively helps with the search for an affordable and adequate accommodation.
The risk of committing further crimes is reduced if exconvicts find a new job shortly after the release. Without a job, the re-offending rate is significantly higher. It is the often-low education level and the long interruption of the working process that turn out to be the main obstacles for the job hunt. In co-operation with the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), NEUSTART makes efforts to arrange adequate jobs. In addition, further education and occupational retraining are offered.
Information for released prisoners
Released from prison - what now? Where can I stay overnight or where can I live, am I entitled to receive financial benefits, am I insured? Question upon question - NEUSTART helps you along. Here are a few tips:
Tips for the first days after the release
- Retain your certificate of release! If you do not have any other ID, it serves as a document for the employment office, the social welfare office, the registration office, and so forth.
- Ration your release money! You do not get benefits immediately just because you are running out of funds. During the first month after your release, the release money is your livelihood.
- Social welfare is only available at your registered place of residence.
- In order to assure and clarify your entitlement to benefits, contact the employment office immediately after your release. In case of an entitlement to unemployment benefit or benefit payment you are insured and therefore have an income for the second month, if your funds are getting short.
- If you are on job hunt but do not receive unemployment benefit, you are entitled to receive social welfare.
- In the first month you should collect invoice documents for larger sums of money (from € 36 upwards) so that you can document your expenses at the social welfare office.
- Low-budget overnight accommodation/living is not easy to obtain. Please contact us early enough (6-8 weeks) before the end of your imprisonment.
- Please note that you do not have insurance as from the end of your prison term.