View Full Version : Federal Halfway house information


indyabrams
12-16-2005, 07:20 AM
Does anyone know about halfway houses? When someone is released from prison to spend the rest of their time at a halfway house what exactly should they expect? Are they able to see friends and family, go to work, go out to dinner, etc. during the day and then go back to the halfway house at night? What about weekends?

Thanks for your input! Any and all information is appreciated!

KrisFedInCali
12-16-2005, 03:14 PM
Here's a little of what I have heard:

Halfway houses do have curfews. When someone first arrives they don't get to leave until the get orientation. Then they are allowed to go out to look for work, and to work. I think the curfew allows dinner out, but not much more. During the day, I believe they can meet with friends/family for lunch, but are not allowed to go to private residences. I don't know what the weekend rules are, or if there are "visiting hours."

Job search reporting is very strict, and requires that the potential employer know the individual is in a halfway house. Once hired, 25% (I think it's 25%) of the income goes to the halfway house.

I believe alcohol consumption is completely prohibited for the entire duration of the halfway house stay, and everyone is subject to UA. Personal property is restricted, similarly to prison.

Some people are able to complete their halfway house time from home, under house arrest. Even thought they are not in the HH, the HH still will collect the 25% of the income.

In general, halfway houses are not liked by the people who stay in them, and are seen as places where it is easy to get into trouble. Often they are in the armpit of the city. Many people say they wish they had stayed in prison for the HH time. Whether or not that is an option is debatable. Counselors & case managers tend to be very coercive about HH placement. Finding a way of opting out of halfway house and staying at the prison can be difficult, without coming off as "refusing" HH placement.

That is what I have heard. All of this is open to correction by those who know.

WhiteDuck
12-16-2005, 07:50 PM
Some people are able to complete their halfway house time from home, under house arrest. Even thought they are not in the HH, the HH still will collect the 25% of the income. .........

That is what I have heard. All of this is open to correction by those who know.

Yours is a very accurate description of my stepson's experience with a federally contracted halfway house. After a month and once he found a job, he was allowed to move home with us, although for the next five months he remained under halfway house supervision. This meant that he gave them 25% of his paycheck, and he had to be at work or at home unless he had specifically scheduled other activities several days ahead of time and gotten them approved, i.e., dinner out with the family, visits to his grandmother, brief shopping trips, church, etc. He was allowed to drive. They called every single night, often at 3:00 am or so, to make sure he was at home. He also had mandatory classes and meetings at the halfway house every week. Alcohol was still forbidden, and he was subject to randomly scheduled UA's on short notice. A whole lot better than prison, though, and better than a halfway house, too, as here he had a private room, use of a car, a computer, a phone, a television, etc. And his friends were allowed to visit him at home, subject to our house rules.

Blackie
12-29-2005, 09:24 PM
Does anyone know about halfway houses? When someone is released from prison to spend the rest of their time at a halfway house what exactly should they expect? Are they able to see friends and family, go to work, go out to dinner, etc. during the day and then go back to the halfway house at night? What about weekends?

Thanks for your input! Any and all information is appreciated!
Hi,
I have first hand experience with a federally contracted halfway house and would be more than willing to answer any and all your questions. You can PM anytime and I will be sure toget back with you. Some of the information stated was correct but every hh is different.

John B. Webster
12-30-2005, 05:55 AM
To follow up on KrisFed's observation, I tried to elect not to go to a CCC and was told that I would be given a shot for "program refusal." and may lose some good time and would finish my bid the the SHU. I "elected" to got to the HH. I question whether I made the right decision.

coping
12-30-2005, 08:17 AM
John, Can you tell us why you question whether you made the right decision? Did something happen?

ajap
12-30-2005, 08:22 AM
I turned down a HH and was not punished by the prison for it; I think they thought my reasons for not wanting to go were valid.

John B. Webster
12-30-2005, 08:36 AM
Sure. The facility was an old dirty hotel. Food worse than prison. The counselors were all 20 somethings that were paid minimum wage and really knew nothing and did nothing other than threaten to ship folk back. Too many absurd restrictions and unnecessary limitations. Had a short period to get a job and really not many more liberties than I had in camp. The phone and daily contact that was required was absolutly absurd. I got used to a certain monotony in prison and adjusting all over again for a very short period of time was a pain. I was only in for 13 months and de-institutionalized was not an issue. I am not recommending that folk reject CCC--but simply sharing my views as to whether I made the right call.

manchester03
12-30-2005, 09:31 PM
I'm with John, some of these places are just a notch above a dump. The Dismas I was at I wish I finshed my time where I left. After a little over 2 years I was content where I was. As has been said many times with HH, it depends on the place, they are all different. I know of several that are pretty good. Sorry if that sounded grouchy.

indyabrams
12-31-2005, 12:19 PM
How would my husband tell them he wanted not to go to the HH? If he elects not to go, will he serve his whole sentence, or will he still get time off?

He does not want to go, he had heard they are all dumps, but we wanted to know what other people thought...

Does anyone know if there are any halway decent ones near Tampa, FL?

Thanks so much!!:)

cjjack
12-31-2005, 03:10 PM
My halfway house was actually great, decent building, not a bad area, and pretty relaxed when it came to the rules. Every halfway house is different, and for those that have been in prison awhile, its better than where they came from. After almost 4 years inside, I couldn't wait for halfway house. You could work, wear your own clothes (no limit on personal property where I was) order food out, go shopping, etc. Beat prison anyday!

coping
01-01-2006, 09:22 AM
My son will be going to halfway house on February 21. He can't wait! I hope it is a good experience for him. We still don't know which one he will go to yet. Once we find out for sure where he is going I plan to call them and try to get some information about their rules. I hope they will tell me. I guess that all depends on who answers the phone, or should I just ask for the manager? Or should I just go there and ask questions then?

bellisq
01-01-2006, 09:51 AM
coping if it were anyone else, i would discourge them since they don't have to deal with you at all, but you manage to accomplish what most only dream of...actually having dealt with several small town CCC's in the past month, i think you will be able to get what you want.

I went through board members of the facilities to get to the director, but that may not have been necessary. Each facility has a comprehensive list of operatonal rules and if you can get your hands on those, i think all your questios will be answered.

coping
01-01-2006, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the advice!! I have one more question, I haven't been able to get the answer to. We are in the process of trying to find him a job in Jackson so that we can hopefully get him in that halfway house, which will be much more convenient for all of us. We are looking at several options, one of which is a runner for a huge law firm. Will the HW House allow a job like that? He would be running errands all day.

bellisq
01-01-2006, 06:43 PM
I can't see any reason why that job would be a problem, i know of people who make local deliveries for a bottling company and that would be similar. I think the issue is that he has a job with a bona fide business and has a supervisor who will always know his whereabouts. For some reason, i am under the impression that the probation office has to sign off on the job also, maybe somebody who has been through the experience can clarify this step in the process.

manchester03
01-02-2006, 08:47 PM
While at the Dismas house I had a job at a dealership that required me running alot of errands. I had to call when I left, again when I arrived to where ever I was going, then again when I got back to work. As long as you keep them informed and discuss it with the counselor before you start it isnt usually a big deal, but it can me nerve wracking sometimes! The fact its a law firm couldnt hurt either. Remember, the main goal of the people that run the half-way house is to get that 25%!

coping
01-03-2006, 07:58 PM
Good News!!!! He found out today he got designated to Jackson, which is where we were hoping he would go. He and I both wrote letters to the CC Manager at the regional office, I suppose it worked!! Now, the pressure is off to find him a job. Another answered prayer!!

I called and spoke with the halfway house manager. He was super nice!! He answered all my questions.

SusanT
01-12-2006, 09:18 AM
Until he has a job, the halfway house will most likely restrict him from any passes to go home or for any other reason except a two-hour pass to purchase necessary toiletries.

I was able to get a job my third day and then got a pass to attend Sunday church services, was able to get a cell phone, and have my car.

Still, the experience of living in a halfway house was worse than being in a prison camp and home confinement was worse with their constant telephone calls during the night.

cha
02-07-2006, 01:55 PM
I difficult is it to gain employment when you have to inform the company about your current situation. and what if you are not able to get one do they assit and place you in one-who determines where you spend the last six months either in halfway or home confinement do you get a choice

SusanT
02-07-2006, 02:46 PM
Cha, welcome to PTO. You are very wise to be thinking already about the halfway house and supervised release. The halfway house usually has a list of employers that are willing to hire residents. About 2/3 of the residents in the halfway house I was at worked in the warehouse at Goodwill which was within walking distance.

Being a convicted felon is a hindrance to future employment but you only need ONE job so you keep asking until someone says, "yes".

manchester03
02-07-2006, 10:12 PM
The half-way house wants that money from you, so dont worry, they will be more than happy to help you find work. There usually is are several places they can send you to if you cant find anything on your own. Like SusanT said Goodwill. Where I was it was a recycle center run by the city. I cant recall anyone getting sent back from the half-way house for not getting a job.