One Description of Halfway Houses

Yesterday’s Seattle Times included an AP story concerning former Illinois Governor George Ryan’s anticipated transfer to a federal halfway house today, offering a “what life is like for a typical resident”:

-Residents in work-release programs are expected to get a job or look for a job, unless they’re enrolled in a training program.
-Instead of a prison jumpsuit, inmates get to wear their own clothes. They’ll be able to have visitors and have access to cellphones, but any travel outside work requires permission.
-Residents must attend classes teaching basic life skills, such as how to write a check.
-Unlike prison, inmates won’t be separated by the severity of their crimes.
-Each resident gets an adviser who’ll help them set goals and develop a plan.

However, as noted today by the Chicago Sun-Times, predictions that Ryan would transition to the community via halfway house placement were incorrect. The BOP, as it often does with older inmates lacking “transitional need,” transitioned Ryan directly to home confinement, which the law permits for during the final ten percent of a federal prisoner’s sentence. See 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(2).

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