The issue of people being wrongfully convicted should be viewed as a gross injustice and failure of the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Individuals who have been wrongfully convicted are likely going to face an uphill battle when they are released, partly because society tends to hear “incarcerated” and shut down. Many people aren’t interested in the fact these people were behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. Instead, they only care that they were locked up.
The challenges that these wrongfully convicted individuals face vary considerably. Overcoming them can often be a stressful and time consuming experience, but the alternative is for the individual to sit around and not try to enjoy life at all.
These people were away from family members and friends while they were in prison. Even if they had visits often, the relationships are probably strained. Add in the changes that have occurred in technology and society as a whole and the these individuals might find that being out in the world is more complex than what they were prepared for. Taking things slowly when they get out is often necessary. However, they must ensure that they aren’t stuck in expectations of societal conditions before their arrest.
Mental health challenges
Being wrongfully incarcerated can lead to a host of mental health issues. Post-traumatic stress disorder is common because of the conditions of prison. Anxiety, depression and similar issues might also occur, partly due to the difficulty that comes with reintegrating into society. Sometimes, the elation of being free mixes with the anger of being wrongfully incarcerated. Dealing with this mix might be challenging. Mental health counseling and treatment could be necessary.
Income and education limitations
The need to support themselves is one of the more pressing matters that these individuals have to deal with. The incarceration, especially if it was a lengthy one, means that they have been out of the job market for a while. This can make it hard to find a job that will enable them to support themselves.
They might have to rely on family members and friends while they try to obtain the education or skills that are needed to thrive in today’s job market. Low self-esteem might occur because the person feels like a burden.
Seeking justice for wrongfully convicted individuals goes far beyond having a conviction overturned. Obtaining compensation for the incarceration period may be in order.