This might seem pretty obvious, but don’t be surprised if you feel a disconnect when you get out — particularly if you began serving a sentence more than two years ago. Even with his family members telling him how bleak things were, one former construction manager who took my class couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find something. He’s now working part-time at a restaurant, but fears his hours may be cut back even further since fewer people are eating out.
The silver lining to all this gloom: A sea change in American attitudes means there’s no shame in any job you take now. If nothing else, with money no longer free, the value of actual work — any work — seems to have come back into style. Particularly with the right attitude, as these stories illustrate.