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Halfway Houses Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

If I were to tell you that a group of federal inmates guilty of a variety of crimes that included, embezzlement, drug manufacturing, child pornography, and murder were in your community, the average person would want to know where those criminals were located and shut that location down. In many cities across the United States, there are facilities that house these convicted inmates. The facilities are called halfway houses, and they were created to help an inmate that is released from prison transition into a community under supervision. The halfway house program can be a beneficial step in the process of an inmate’s release, and can reap lasting rewards for the inmates, the correctional ...view middle of the document...

Halfway houses have been a proven way to increase the chance of success for inmates once they have finished their sentence, and this keeps them from further burdening an already straining system.
The Bureau of Prisons spends a large amount of money housing, feeding, and attempting to rehabilitate convicts. Given the current laws in place, it is hard to offset the costs required to run those prisons. Residents participating in halfway house programs are extremely low cost when compared to those inmates residing in the prison system. The differences in costs can be associated the lower amount of compensation for staff, smaller facilities, and cheaper utilities. The residents of halfway houses are required to give 25 percent of the gross income they earn to the Bureau of Prisons. Given the large difference in cost factors, halfway houses are a very economical way for the Bureau of Prisons to save money on the last six months of an inmate’s sentence.
The probation office has also reaped the rewards of halfway houses. Inmates that are released from prison, they will usually be required to have supervision by a probation officer. In the past when a felon violated a condition of their probation, there were very few ways to punish that person, and those punishments usually involved either county jail or prison. Parole officers have the option to send the inmate to a halfway house to obtain the supervision the officer feels the inmate needs.
The final benefit is to the communities that halfway houses reside in. Many times there are negative connotations to halfway houses that can be due to the type of people being housed within them. The feeling usually is that the facility will bring with it a dangerous element. While it is understandable, it is just not the case for most halfway houses. These facilities employ a staff that maintains a watch on the facility and randomly checks the residents inside. Inmates may go on passes for necessities and visits, and the locations are inspected prior to an inmate being allowed to visit that...

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