Thursday, October 25, 2018

Surprise! Cutting funding for halfway houses means less people get to go to halfway houses.

You may have read some stories from last year that said the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) was cutting funding for halfway house programs. Big surprise that less people are going to halfway houses as a result. But maybe that is a good thing you, an astute person say. After all, the research that shows that halfway houses are effective is mixed at best. And because home confinement saves more money and allows people a chance to transition back directly into their community more people will end up there instead of halfway houses.

Well you would be wrong
Home confinement is in free fall, down 61 percent to a population of 1,822. The majority of that cut has come in just the past year. Now only 1 in 20 people under federal supervision is in transitional housing. While the overall prison population has also fallen in recent years, the number of federal prisoners monitored in communities has dropped more sharply.
It is important for stakeholders in the criminal justice system to know that the old advice we gave our clients - that they can expect six months of halfway house at the end of their prison sentence - is not true anymore. And we should also consider letting our judges know that so they are aware that their sentences are functionally six months longer than they were just a year or two ago.

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