Many individuals finishing out their custody sentences inside one of the incarceration facilities of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons will have the opportunity to participate in the placement and programming inside one of the BOP-contracted Residential Reentry Centers (RRC) located at various locations throughout the country listed here and are administered and overseen by the local Residential Reentry Administrator's Office in their designated region.
The USBOP staff will determine eligibility for placement in one of the RRC facilities which will allow the inmate to reside in the facility, and if eligible, to eventually participate in the home confinement program so they can reside at their planned release residence while arranging plans for full release. This will allow them to have a transition in their return and release back to the community giving them the opportunity to reunite with family and relatives, develop living arrangements, secure employment or train for one, participate in community-based treatment, complete life skills classes, and development resources for the many needs that come from returning home after a long period of absence.
Description from the USBOP of the overall program design, processes, and expectations are listed here. Rules and Regulations for the 3 RRCs in the Northern District of Texas are located here: Dallas-Hutchins (house rules and facility handbook), Fort Worth, and Dismas House (Lubbock area).
HALF-WAY HOUSE REQUIREMENTS
On December 20, 2002, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) changed procedures for designating individuals to Residential Re-entry Centers (halfway houses). For the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Volunteers of America and for the west Texas/Lubbock area, the Dismas House facilities serve as contract providers to the Bureau of Prisons. The procedural changes involve limitations on institution transfers to halfway houses for prerelease purposes. The designations to the halfway houses are limited in duration to the last 10% of an inmate’s prison term to be served, not to exceed six months. Inmates completing the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) may exceed the 10% limitation, but are still limited to a maximum of six months halfway house placement. The Residential Reentry Administrator's (RRA) Office at the BOP is responsible for all designations.
Once a designation to a halfway house is made and the inmate arrives at the respective facility he/she will be allowed access to the community on gradual and limited bases. The inmate’s case manager will review the procedures and qualifications with each inmate. All residents will be required to attend a substance abuse education program of at least 8 hours. Twelve hours of life skills classes are also required.
The Levels of progression are as follows:
Level 1: Full restriction, usually used for sanctions of noncompliant behavior.
Level 2: The inmate is limited to access to the community for work and treatment only.
Level 3: Identical to level 2 with the exception of a 4 hour recreation pass on the weekend.
Level 4: A 48 residence pass is permitted provided the inmate has an approved release plan by the U.S. Probation office and the VOA.
Level 5: Rarely used, usually reserved for electronic monitoring cases.
Level 6: Home confinement, which allows the inmate to spend an extended period of time at his/her residence if he/she has an approved release plan from the U.S. Probation office and VOA.
POSSIBLE QUESTIONS ABOUT HALFWAY HOUSE:
1) Why can’t I have a cell phone? The possession of all electronic equipment must be approved by the Residential Reentry Administrator's (RRA) Office at the BOP. If the inmate can prove he/she needs to cell phone for work purposes,it can be approved.
2) Can I have access to a computer? No access to the internet is not allowed unless the facility gets a waiver from the BOP. Currently, VOA Hutchins and VOA Fort Worth have waivers for internet access for workforce development and reentry purposes on a supervised basis.
3) Can I drive? Driving privileges can be approved for work purposes.
4) Can I be self-employed? No. RRC staff must be able to verify employment through a third party. Working for a relative is also discouraged.
5) How soon do I have to secure a job? Within 15 working days of arrival.
6) Who administers punishment/sanctions while at the RRC? Although the inmate usually meets with a USPO for re-entry supervision, the punishment is still administered by the BOP until the supervised release begins.
7) Do I have to pay subsistence? Yes, 25% of the inmates gross pay is provided to the VOA who forwards the funds to the BOP. Failure to pay fees could result in a loss of community access or a possible transfer back to the BOP.
8) Can my family visit? All visitors must be approved by the facility. If approved, all visitation determined by the facility.
9) Can I attend church? Yes, passes are allowed for church.
10) When can I have a recreation pass? If eligible, a 4 hour weekend pass can be approved after the inmate pays fees on a 40 hour work week. Not all inmates can be issued a weekend pass due to their designation restrictions. For instance, an inmate with a history of escape could be restricted to an employment status.
11) Can an inmate have a pass for treatment? Yes, passes are given to treatment clients for sessions outside the facility.
12) What if I cannot work due to medical reasons? An inmate will then be restricted to in-house chores or possibly volunteer work outside the facility.
13) Can I go home while at the RRC? If eligible, an inmate can progress to home confinement. This means the inmate can spend time at his/her residence. The inmate must have an approved release plan from the U.S. Probation office and the RRC .
14) Can I purchase a vehicle or open a line of credit while at the RRC? No, it is one of the conditions that you agreed to abide by while residing at the facility.