Resources – Preparing for Prison – Halfway House

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Halfway House/Home Confinement

Everyone handles nearing release differently. Some people begin preparing for release as soon as their sentence begins. Others wait until they have two years or less remaining to serve. Some do not prepare at all. Our office’s experience is that it is best to begin preparing as soon as you reach prison, no matter how long your sentence may be. Take advantage of the time that prison affords you to put together a solid plan.

Preparing for release can mean different things for different people as personal circumstances almost always vary. Nobody knows your situation better than you do, and your preparations for release should reflect that.

If you are relocating to a different judicial district than where you were convicted, your Unit Team will be required to submit paperwork to the U.S. Probation Office requesting transfer of your supervision to the district where you will be living upon release. You should make your request for relocation during your program review that is closest to 24 months from release. For transfer of supervision to be approved, you must rely on more than just your desire to relocate. Transfer of supervision, for instance, is typically only approved upon a showing that the release location contains a support system for you (e.g., family, friends, employer, etc.).

Once the request for transfer of supervision reaches the U.S. Probation Office, a probation officer in the district you are attempting to relocate to will conduct an inspection of the residence where you intend to live. The main purpose of this visit is to ensure that the residence is safe, crime-free, does not contain firearms, and the person you will be staying with is comfortable with you living there.  If transfer of supervision is approved, you will be notified by your unit team. If transfer of supervision is approved, you will also be notified. There is typically no way to appeal a denial of transfer of supervision, although in some cases—with the assistance of counsel—you can have your request reconsidered by a supervisor within the U.S. Probation Office where you are trying to relocate to.

The BOP uses Residential Re-entry Centers, commonly known as “halfway houses” to help offenders entering society re-acclimate.  Halfway houses are designed to give inmates time to find employment, gather essentials, save money, and build family and community ties.

Inmates are given a bed, three meals a day, and constant reminders that they are still a part of the BOP. Inmates don’t have full freedom, but do get a little taste of what it is like.  Over the course of time, after they have successfully lived at the halfway house for some time, worked at a job for a bit, and are showing stability, inmates in halfway houses are allowed weekend passes to stay with family.

You will be required to give the halfway house 25% of your gross earnings as a cost of incarceration fee.

Home Confinement

The BOP allows low-risk offenders to serve the last portion of their sentences on home confinement. By statute, offenders cannot serve more than ten percent of their sentence or six months, whichever is less, on home confinement.