How to Use This Guide

    Click here to print this page for yourself or someone you know.

    Click here if you are a loved one or service provider for someone who is in custody or recently released.

    Returning to your community from incarceration can be overwhelming. There are many challenges you may face during this transitional time, including finding safe and stable housing, securing employment, addressing health problems, and making sure you have the community support you need. This is a guide to the resources throughout Orange County that can help you address the challenges of re-entry. It includes general information about things like planning for your release and maintaining your health, as well as lists of specific programs such as residential treatment programs and community health clinics.

    Where to start:

    You will find a Re-Entry Transition Plan for you to fill out according to your identified needs. You can use this tool to start thinking about the kinds of resources that will best meet your needs, and to decide which services will be the most important/urgent for you to access when you’re released.

    What to keep in mind:

    • When trying to find the resources that are right for you, it is important to be patient and polite.
    • Many times the result of one letter, phone call or visit with the people who are trying to help you may just be a new number to try, but keep in mind that each resource you contact is a positive step towards your success. Patience and politeness will open doors for you as you plan your transition.   
    • Be patient and polite with yourself too! Contact resources, and follow up with community organizations to make sure your transition is as organized and seamless as possible, so that you can avoid added stress. (And check out our page of Helpful Checklists to use as you work to stay healthy, maintain your mental/emotional health, and gather important documents).

    Where to get more information:

    Public libraries are an important resource available in almost every community. Modern libraries generally offer anyone in the public use of a few computers and free internet access. Internet access makes it much easier to get information about local services, and librarians are trained to help people find information.

    If you have a specific interest, a librarian may also be able to help you find books and other information that will help. Printing and copying are often available for a small fee. Libraries also offer educational events and post flyers about what’s going on in the community. Click here for an online list of Orange County public libraries..

    Remember also that you can always contact 2-1-1 to speak to a trained specialist who can help you find up-to-date information on the services available to you!

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