Halfway Houses and Reentry Programs for felons
Few like the sound of a halfway house, reentry program or transitional houses as they are more properly known. But staying at a halfway house after prison release is hardly the worst thing that can happen to a felon. In fact it offers an opportunity to ease back into regular society, instead of being thrown back unprepared. Funded by subsidies, these forms of public housing for felons are rent-free for residents, which alleviates the burden and stress of tenants making payments. It thus frees up time and allows the felon to focus on other things, such as getting back on their feet, finding work, making healthy social connections or reconnecting with family or other loved ones who were waiting for their release.
Indeed in some situations a felon is required by the terms of their parole to stay at a halfway house. This way they are offered a lifestyle of some structure and accountability, versus total freedom living alone. Freedom is obviously the ultimate goal, but some are not ready for it. Some are perhaps struggling with personal issues, either internal or external…or both. Physical limitations and mental health issues are very real problems which a certain percentage of felons suffer from, and for this reason a halfway house may be the perfect solution for those in need.
With a halfway house, a felon has some small tasks to perform and are also subject to room searches, in an effort to ensure no resident is bringing in contraband or other illegal items. Too often, felons fall back into old patterns of living and maintain connections with criminal acquaintances who exert pressure on them to return to their old ways. A halfway house can help to counteract such pressure.
Just because a halfway house has certain rules and checks doesn’t mean it is a return to some sort of prison life. There is certainly far more freedom given than one would have while incarcerated, and again, many felons greatly benefit from this transitional form of residence. But as the name implies, it is not a permanent solution.
Most states offer halfway houses or similar types of shelter, available for a period of months up to a few years. But it is crucial the felon find a good job and make an attempt to find their own residence as soon as they are ready and able