I was sent to prison in 2010 and served 16 months of a 2 year 8 month sentence. Throughout my time inside I was told I would struggle to find work, let alone lead a content life on release. On hearing this it made me more determined to prove these doubters wrong. I started a degree with the open University while in custody and have just completed my third year part-time. I was in and out of a hostel within 4 weeks and off JSA after a couple of months, temping with a local agency. I now have been in permanent employment for nearly a year and have been earmarked for progression through to management. I was open and honest with my employer whose response was "they had a duty to employ a broad range of people from the community, including those with criminal convictions, spent or not". I finally married my long-term girlfriend and fiancée last month who stood by me throughout the court process. I now lead a happy and content life and the thought of reoffending is not even considered.
My point to all forum readers is this, don't ever let anyone tell you can't get your life back on track. All I heard was doom and gloom whilst inside, but hard work and determination opens up many opportunities for individuals.