Janell has an MBA, a Master's in Education, and a BS in Public Safety Management.
Halfway House Defined
Halfway houses, also known as a residential reentry centers (RCCs), are transitional homes for inmates. They are defined as safe, supervised, and structured environments that provide assistance to inmates who will be released from incarceration soon.
Living in a halfway house allows them to become slowly integrated back into society while serving the remainder of their sentence. Halfway houses are not as secured as jails and prisons but allow for the inmate to gain skills and knowledge to obtain employment.
They also provide inmates with assistance, such as employment counseling and financial management, that are necessary for the inmate to live beyond prison or jail walls. The inmate can establish relationships in the community while on supervised release and in residence at the halfway house.
Halfway houses were started in 2004 with an initiative from President Bush. There was a $300 million initiative to start the program. There was a hope that the inmates in the program would be less likely to re-enter the prison system.
An inmate's unit manager, case manager, and counselor must make a referral to place the inmate in a halfway house 17-19 months prior to an inmate's release. The team then decides which halfway house will best suit the inmate, and they determine how long the inmate will stay at the halfway house. An inmate's stay at a halfway house cannot be longer than 12 months.
Halfway House Rules
There are several rules that the inmates must follow when they enter a halfway house. Each halfway house may change the rules or add rules as they see fit for the house or for individual inmates. Listed below are the rules recommended by the Federal Bureau of Prisons for both state and federal halfway houses.
- Inmates are not allowed to take part of illegal activities while residing at the halfway house.
- Inmates are to obtain full time employment, which is considered 40 hours a week, within 15 calendar days of arriving at the halfway house.
- Drug use is not permitted, and drug tests are administered randomly.
- Inmates can only leave by signing out for approved activities, which include seeking employment, Going to work or counseling, or participating in recreational activities.
- An inmate must pay 25% of their gross income to defray the costs of their stay at the halfway house.
- While at the halfway house, if needed, the inmate is to continue drug abuse rehabilitation.
- If needed, inmates must continue mental health treatment.
- An inmate that cannot obtain employment for medical reasons will be assigned chores within the halfway house.
- A 12-hour life skills training is required upon entering the halfway house.
- Cell phone and internet use are prohibited.
Halfway House Statistics
Reports from 2013 show that inmates in halfway houses fell by 9,300 inmates with a total of approximately 41,000 inmates entering halfway houses in 2013. Part of the reason for the decline of inmates in halfway houses are that the U.S. Sentencing Commissions makes rules and regulations on which inmates are eligible to serve their sentence out in the halfway house. These rules and regulations change and inmates become ineligible to move from the jail or prison to a halfway house.
When an inmate is nearing the end of their sentence, the team involved with the inmate during incarceration can recommend placement in halfway house. Halfway homes were started by President Bush in 2004. He felt that inmates needed an opportunity to give back to their communities and help defray the costs of the time spent in the halfway house, including the utilities and upkeep of the halfway house. Inmates are placed in halfway houses for a period of time up to 12-months and they must follow the rules of the halfway home. Violation of the rules can send the inmate back to jail or prison.
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