The task of counseling people who believe that they have been wrongly imprisoned can be a difficult one. Yet it is a task that the counselors who work for correctional departments have to handle. It is also a task that to various degrees, the other correctional officers who deal with these people have to tackle. And at yet another level, the task of counseling people who are wrongly imprisoned is one that the people who work in the correctional facility chaplaincy departments have to deal with.
One strategy that often has to be used when counseling people who are wrongly imprisoned is that of getting them to see the possibility that the imprisonment is part of their preordained destiny, part of their fate if you like. This is a fatalistic view: that when we are born, our lives are meant to follow a certain path, and there is a little we can do to change our fates. Unfortunately for some folks, ending up in a correctional facility at some point is part of that fate. Getting the people who are wrongly imprisoned to view the whole thing as part of their fate, getting them to understand that they are living out their fate (and there is no way their lives would have turned out otherwise) may serve to ameliorate quite a bit of their mental anguish. But this counseling strategy is a potentially controversial one.
Another strategy that often has to be used when counseling people who are wrongly imprisoned is that of getting them to have hope, that the truth may one day surface, and that they may therefore regain their freedom one day. As the authorities work to minimize errors in the collection and analysis of evidence, various cases that were handled in the wrong way do come to light, occasionally resulting in the release of people who were wrongfully imprisoned. Yet another (potentially controversial) strategy that often has to be used when counseling people who are wrongly imprisoned, especially those who are wrongly imprisoned for life, is that of getting them to accept that their experience in the afterlife may be better.
There is yet another strategy that is used when counseling people who are wrongly imprisoned: namely that of getting them to appreciate that even if they were free, they would still be having various challenges in the outside world. Human life is full of challenges: whether one is in a correctional facility or in the outside world. If they were in the outside world, they would be struggling with bills and debts (for instance Gap credit card bills for those who are inclined to spend lots of money on clothing). They have to be alerted to the fact that there is even the possibility that, on account of some accident, they would possibly not even be alive, if they were in the outside world. Perhaps being in a correctional facility has saved them from some worse fate that would have befallen them if they were in the outside world… The idea is to help them have proper perspective.