ID: They’ll need it to cash checks or apply for benefits or a job. Can’t get a driver’s license? Try a state ID (start the process before release).

HOUSING: If needed, find a halfway house, boarding facility or shelter in the phone book’s social-service pages.

HEALTH: Medicaid may be an option (again, start application before release). And get tested for HIV and hepatitis.

FOOD: Not eligible for food stamps? Food banks don’t discriminate. Call 800-453-2648.

WORK: Programs like Chicago’s Safer Foundation (312-922-2200) and Texas’ Project RIO (800-493-8884, ext. 4431) offer training and placement. Volunteering can also provide structure and lead to paid work.

MORE INFO: In New York, call the Osborne Association (800-344-3314); in California, call Friends Outside (209-955-0701). Also, visit the Family and Corrections Network (