I have gotten a lot of questions about the halfway house. People have concerns and really don’t know what to expect while in the halfway house. Each halfway house is different and have different rules and regulations. I know a lot of guys that have gone to the halfway house and have been met with rules and regulations that have made it impossible to stay there. It seems that at every turn there is a rule that prohibits you from moving, being with family, and in some cases working. How do you get around that?
Here a few things to remember when dealing with the halfway house.
1. The official name for halfway houses: Community Correction Facility. What does that mean? That means although you can see and smell the outside world you are still under BOP custody. The BOP has contracted you out to a private company that operates under BOP rules and regulations. Any infraction you get will be the same as it would be if you were actually behind the fence or wall. As a resident you have to keep this in mind.
2. The recidivism rate is 70% that means 7 out of 10 people return back to prison within 3 years of release. So, although you may have changed your life around for the best that does not mean that the other guys there with you have. You will encounter the same criminal lifestyle, habits and behaviors as you did in the joint. You have to take care of your sobriety. You have to have the will power to disassociate yourself from these people and their behaviors. People are not going to care about your needs. You have to care about them. That goes for staff and others alike. At the end of the day it is about money. You are there to profit off of.
3. I have a lot of guys that get frustrated with the process of finding a job while in the halfway house. I know it is hard to settle for a temp job after spending many years in prison planning on how to get rich. If you did a bid waiting and planning use the time in the halfway house fine tuning your plan. Why? Because if you go out and get that high paying job, the one you always wanted, or you try to get your own business off the ground don’t be surprised when the halfway house mess it up for you. I hear stories all the time of guys that get out and get good jobs only to have to leave them after the halfway house calls the employer. It is as if they sabotage your efforts to get out and work. So how do you solve that? Get the temp job sweeping floors and dumping trash. They are going to take 25 percent of your check anyway. So why make a lot of money to give to them.
When dealing preparing for release you have to prepare for the time spent in the halfway house. It is part of the bid and along with the bid there will be set backs. Your goal should be to understand them and get around them. The worse is you are there for 6 months to a year. The best thing about it is that while you are stuck in the halfway house your old cell-mate is stuck in a prison cell…dying and wishing to get out. Nothing last for ever. Just as you were able to deal with being confined you will find a way to get around the halfway house.