A friend or family member may be able to pick you up from prison on your release date. It depends on the terms of your release and the rules of your prison. Planning ahead can help you ensure a smooth release date.
Can a family member pick you up when you are released from prison?
It depends. In some cases, you will go straight to another form of custody after release. Most people in federal prison go to a residential reentry center after prison. This is also known as a halfway house. Most states have similar programs. If you are going to one of these places, the prison system will take you there.
However, if you have finished your sentence completely, friends and family can probably pick you up on your release date. But there are some exceptions. Sometimes your terms of release say that you can’t spend time with certain people. That could be because they have a criminal record, or it could be due to a restraining order of some type. If your loved one falls into either of these categories, they cannot pick you up.
Different systems have different specific rules about it. Some may not allow your loved ones to get out of the car when they pick you up. Others may not allow pets.
Be sure to ask an administrator well in advance for specific rules. This can help you and the person giving you a ride time to prepare.
What can you do if no one can pick you up on your release date?
Not everyone can arrange a ride home from prison. If that’s the case, most systems will help you get a ride. Some will give you money for transportation. Others might just give you a ride.
Unfortunately, some systems won’t give you anything. You may be responsible for your own transportation. If this is the case, you will need to prepare. Getting home from prison can cost you a lot of money, depending on how far you are. There are a few things you can try.
- Call friends or family. See if people you know can send some money to your commissary account. You can cash this out when you leave and use that money to get a ride.
- Ask a local church or non-profit. A bus ticket can be a huge expense for someone just leaving prison. But religious groups and other non-profits can often raise funds to help with causes. You can try contacting a house of worship or non-profit groups from your hometown to see if they can raise the cost of transportation for you.
What if your release date falls on the weekend?
Jails and prisons do not release people on the weekends. That means if your release date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you won’t be able to be released at that time.
Fortunately, this means you’ll be released a little earlier. If your release date falls on the weekend, your family can pick you up on Friday. This is also true in the case of a holiday.
If you have completed your sentence, your friend or family member can pick you up from prison on your release date. But if you are headed to another form of custody such as a halfway house, the prison system will transport you.
If no one can pick you up from prison, you will need to find another way to get home. Some systems offer a ride or money for a ride. Others offer nothing at all on your release date. And if your release date falls on a weekend or a holiday, you will get out on the last business day before your release date.