There are many ways in which both social isolation and social reconnection can happen. Of course, many people are completely content being "isolated" from society and prefer a more solo existence. For those who have been isolated from society in ways that have been harmful, such as through being incarcerated,...
There are many ways in which both social isolation and social reconnection can happen. Of course, many people are completely content being "isolated" from society and prefer a more solo existence. For those who have been isolated from society in ways that have been harmful, such as through being incarcerated, there are several channels through which people can reconnect to society. In the example of incarceration, there is a wide spectrum of thoughts, ideologies, and biases that play into how people think of prisoners reconnecting with society. On the authoritarian end of the spectrum, people often conceive of prisoners are inherently bad people who are lacking in desirable characteristics and who must be carefully and often coercively reconnected into society though probation programs and other systems that, it could be argued, are oppressive. This authoritarian ideology often promotes frequent and immediate re-imprisonment of individuals following any breaches of the state-created rules placed upon prisoners after their release. Prisoners are expected to prove their worth as human beings in order to be accepted back into society, and the caveat is often that this acceptance can be taken away at any time.
In the middle of this spectrum are people who tend to think of prisoners in a paternalistic way, as people to be saved, educated, or reformed. People who take this view often may include liberal church groups and individuals who interact with prisoners both during and after imprisonment. These groups often see prisoners not as inherently bad but as having flaws that must be corrected through some kind of religious or moralistic intervention. These liberal organizations can offer some beneficial programs, such as offering help to former prisoners in securing housing and work, but they are not normally prison abolitionists and tend to treat former prisoners in an infantilizing manner. These groups do, however, understand that community connections are important for many people and often seek to aid in the reconnecting of formerly incarcerated people to communities without the use of probation or parole.
At the other end of this spectrum are prison abolitionists, who desire the end of prisons and incarceration. Prison abolitionists tend to see most prisoners as no different from themselves and understand the ways in which the state/policing systems target people who are often simply trying to survive racialized capitalism. Prison abolitionists often understand the existence of laws as a means of control and see the state as using laws to break apart families and keep people isolated via incarceration. For instance, the immigration system creates laws that determine who is considered "legal" and then separates families and incarcerates individuals or entire families based upon this classification. Prison abolitionists tend to not look at prisoners in a paternalistic manner, but through a lens of wanting to offer material solidarity to people facing the worst aspects of state oppression. These groups tend to write letters to prisoners while they're incarcerated to let them know they are not forgotten, organize with family and friends of incarcerated people to advocate for the imprisoned person, and work to prevent people from being incarcerated in the first place through prison abolition organizing. These groups also offer material support to people once they are out of prison because they understand that having non-paternalistic support, understanding, and solidarity reduces the chances of someone going back to prison. Post-release prison abolitionist groups offer a community for that person to connect or reconnect with.