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Pennsylvania Parole, Probation, Work Release, Halfway Houses & Community Service All information relating to parole, probation, halfway houses, community service and electronic monitoring in Pennsylvania should be posted here.

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  #51  
Old 03-13-2016, 06:50 AM
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Welcome.

As Waitinguntil001 explained, we don't have enough information to give you solid answers.

Parole for certain categories of crime is often harder than for others. Sex offenders used to max-out most of the time, although now they're coming close to the statistics for everyone else. It has nothing to do with the inmate's record in prison; it was simply done to appease public sensitivity.

The home plan doesn't make a difference in the paroling decision. The home plan comes afterward. While it's great to have the home plan in place and on file ahead of time, having one doesn't influence the parole decision-making process.

The decision to parole is all about risk. The Board weighs the risk the offender could pose to the community against their risk-management process and decides if the inmate should be released. In other words, they try to balance the needs of the inmate against the risk to the community. Community safety is always first.

Your brother has undergone two or three risk assessments while preparing for parole. generally, they are: STATIC-99, RST and LSI-R. From these, they Board develops an overall risk score. They also consider the official version of the criminal activity and any input from the sentencing court and the victim. Finally, they make a subjective assessment of the individual's remorse, empathy and degree of admission to the behaviors.

I can't stress this enough: "Taking Responsibility" for a crime is NOT the same as admitting to one's misbehavior. In this specific case, it's not enough to say "I take responsibility for not knowing her age." The Board is waiting for him to admit he chose to have sex with a female without being sure of her age or possibly even suspecting she was underage. And, depending on the specific charge and subsection, this may not even be about consent; meaning he's accused of coercion or some other form of pressure.

So, you see, the Board really does a lot of digging. They don't have a crystal ball, so they have to rely on risk assessments, recommendations from the prison staff and their own intuition.

As for the counselor "withholding information," that's really hard to imagine. Your brother can easily provide any information to the Board himself. This is generally done at the pre-parole interview.

If you want to discuss this privately, you can PM me.
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  #52  
Old 06-26-2016, 05:26 AM
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Okay, the Moderator is here and I will create a new thread for this.

Progress CCC is a secure center, meaning the residents never leave the building until they are released. I'm glad he will only be there 90 days. Until recently, those placements could be for years ... now they're capped at 120 days and then the parolee is moved to a less-secure center.
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Old 07-26-2016, 07:17 AM
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Greetings.

We live in PA. My brother is a convicted SO. He was found guilty in a non-unaniomous vote by military court martial for inappropriate contact with a minor. I was there for the trial. He touched her belly (by patting it) when he leaned over her to kiss his own daughter goodnight.

With the change in law a year or two ago, he is now a tier-3 offender, registered for life. We have had great difficulty getting him into an alcohol rehab, and even more (currently) attempting to get him into a halfway or recovery house. We JUST found out that they are all refusing to take him.

He can not live with family because alcohol is a problem elsewhere- with "functioning alcoholics". He needs to change people, places and things.

Can anyone advise of places either in this thread or via private messaging that may provide transitional housing? His release date from rehab is in 12 days. He is currently unemployed and has no income. I can help temporarily, but at nearly 50 years old, he has to learn to once again stand on his own two feet.

He is not on probation or parole.

Thank you.

Last edited by Dutch2; 07-26-2016 at 07:19 AM.. Reason: added info
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  #54  
Old 07-26-2016, 08:31 AM
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One more thing. He is currently in a 30 day program for alcohol rehab.
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  #55  
Old 07-31-2016, 05:08 AM
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I want to post an update on paroled former sex offenders getting into CCCs without home plans:

1. The practice of waiving the time-to-max requirement has ended. Without a home plan, the parolee won't be referred to a CCC until he is within 30 months of maxing out. no exceptions at this time.

2. The Progress CCC transition has now been reduced to 120 days, except for SVPs. This means parolees should be flowing through there faster and creating more movement through the release process.

3. There is a federal lawsuit pending against the DOC to end the discrimination against sex offenders.

Bob
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:18 PM
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Default Home Plan Disappoved, Now What?

My brother Dan (SCI - Smithfield) rec'd Parole Approval ltr 25 Jul 2016. Home plan had alreaady been submitted and Parole Officer made a visit to my home on 22 Aug 16. My brother called me the following week and he said the Home Plan was disapproved and the reason was marked confidential.

What is the next step? He has been in there since 1994.

This is the only place were I have been able to find anything referencing Paroled Sex Offenders. I appreciate any assistance.

Thanks,

Dave

Last edited by christmanrd; 09-03-2016 at 12:20 PM.. Reason: spelling
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  #57  
Old 09-04-2016, 07:54 AM
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A "confidential" rejection usually amounts to one of two reasons: 1) the home plan provider expressed doubts or concerns about having the parolee there, or 2) the victim lives close by. To my knowledge, any other reason would have been disclosed.

The next step is for him to submit another home plan. Unless he is within 36 months of maxing out, he won't be considered for placement in a halfway house.
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:05 AM
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Default Not sure how to help Jeff

Dear bobble60

I’m writing on behalf of a friend named Jeff, who is currently in SCI Forest, Marienville. He was convicted in 2000 of having sexual relations with an under-aged step daughter and ended up serving twelve years (on a 10 years sentence) in prison to January 2012. He was released and given a one-way bus ticket to his home town in Pennsylvania with no further counseling or supervision. He ended up in the Just for Jesus homeless shelter in Brockway, PA.

In August 2012, as his request, I picked him up and drove him to Buffalo, NY where his mother, brother and sister lived. He assured me he had completed the necessary paperwork and he did register with the police in Buffalo. In October 2012, he was rearrested for leaving the State of Pennsylvania and was subsequently convicted and given and additional ten year sentence.
Jeff has been told that he could get parole if he gets a proper “home plan.” The Just for Jesus shelter in Brockway did fill out a home plan for him, but the Parole Board did not approve of him going to a homeless shelter. Jeff has no source of income, but I am willing to sponsor him if we can find him a home.
I don’t want to rent him a place until he is in a CCC, but they won’t release him to a CCC until he has a home plan, or is within 36 months of maxing out, which would be in 2019. I sent Jeff copies of your blog and he wanted to get in touch with you and the only way was to join the blog to send you this message.

Jeff’s current sentence is a technical violation and not for his original violation. He is still a registered sex offender. How do you suggest we proceed?

Thank you in advance for any advice you could offer.
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  #59  
Old 10-30-2016, 08:15 AM
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If you PM me with Jeff's full name and DOC number, I will contact him.

You state the current DOC policy well. he will not be referred for CCC placement unless he has an approved home plan or gets within 36 months of his max date. (This discriminatory policy is being challenged in federal court, but it could take a year to reach an outcome.)

The Just For Jesus Ministry has been under tremendous pressure from local legislators, and they've managed to get the PBPP to stop placing paroled former sex offenders there. The Prison Society has worked with Bishop Wisor and applauds his ministry for their help with those who would otherwise be homeless. Hopefully, the political landscape will change in nine days and the J4J Ministry will once again be open to everyone.
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  #60  
Old 03-02-2018, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobble60 View Post
There is some news this week:

The DOC will consider parolees who don't have home plans. The "home-plan-first-for-sex-offenders" rule is not etched in stone anymore. They can be sent to halfway houses without home plans if they can show a strong likelihood that they will be able to get a home plan approved quickly once there. We're working on a guide for inmates that will help them develop the necessary support resources and then present them to the DOC in lieu of a home plan.

If you know of a paroled former sex offender who has been denied a halfway house bed because he or she doesn't have an approved home plan, let me know.
My son was to get out next month, although was just informed he will not due to no home plan. His Parol ends 2022. I cannot have him with me because my lease is for only 2 people myself and his daughter, and I certainly have no money to consider moving. There’s got to be something I can do. He’s got a good job waiting for him. Any information would be so greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:04 AM
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The situation has changed since I last posted in this thread in 2016.

The new DOC policy is to consider every paroled former sex offender for placement in a center regardless of how far away their max date is. The inmate must have a positive parole action (meaning he's been granted parole), and must have either had one home plan officially rejected by the Board or can show diligence in looking for home plans for at least 120 days.

There are then a list of factors used to decide if the parolee is a good candidate for center placement, which comes down to how likely he is to develop an approved home plan within about 90 days if he's sent to a center. Among those factors are how much money he has in his inmate account, if he has a job waiting for him (confirmed in writing by the employer), and if he has other non-financial support in the community.

So, if he has at least one home plan rejection form in his hand, he should speak with his counselor about being referred to the Bureau of Community Corrections for placement in a center.
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  #62  
Old 03-05-2018, 07:14 AM
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What does it mean by how much money he has in his account. What is the Average of how much he should have?
Months ago he went though sending us all letters asking for a home plan, through his counselor. Although we didn't respond to them, as an official deny. Could that be what your referring to as far as, 'diligence in looking for home plans for at least 120 days'.
We have even sent in the money for space in a center in Phila that we thought we would be going to. Then the Parole told him last week that he could not go to a center due to his Assault charges. He was already released last year and is currently in on a Parole violation.
Is there anyone I can speak with or go to for information as to how I can help him with his release?
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  #63  
Old 03-11-2018, 07:50 AM
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Once a parolee has been deemed "Hard-To-Place" or HTP, a new set of placement criteria kicks in under DOC Policy 8.1.1. These individuals aren't automatically qualified for placement in community corrections. They are evaluated on a case-by-case basis with an eye towards their likelihood of developing an approved home plan quickly if they are sent to a center.

Among those considerations is the amount of money the parolee has available as a deposit/rent. In the past, a good number was $800, either in his inmate account or available from outside sources. When the inmate had less, they would look at how he spends his inmate account. Those who seem to be saving money versus those who decided they want a new TV, for example.

Another criterion is the diligence the parolee shows in trying to find a home plan. The parolee shows diligence by having copies of letters he sent to prospective home plans as well as the responses he gets.

No DOC-operated center charges a deposit for admission. It sounds like you sent $140 to a privately run shelter. While many of these say they'll accept a former sex offender, the Board won't approve them. Never send money to any place until the parolee has been approved by the Board to live there. A reputable organization will understand this.

Finally, the matter of getting him to a community corrections center begins with his counselor and institutional parole agent. You can't go above them in the chain of command. So, if you want to speak with anyone, that's where you start.
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  #64  
Old 09-08-2018, 01:27 PM
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Default Renewal Halfway House in Pittsburgh

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobble60 View Post
I want to use this thread to keep everyone updated on an evolving issue.

Two years ago, no halfway house would accept a paroled sex offender. Our best estimate was that about 1,000 men were paroled but still sitting in prison. Trhough major efforts in HBG, the policy was changed and men began to slowly leave.

At first, they were all sent to Progress CCC, a secure facility on the grounds of SCI Greene. (By "secure," I mean it has a fence around it and no one leaves for any reason except to go back to prison or be released.)

We argued that there was no benefit. Residents told us they just sat around all day. Slowly, other centers were opened for sex offenders. menw ere being placed closer to home and being allowed to look for jobs in the community. The catch was that the parolee had to have an approved home plan before getting a bed date.

We argued again! We feel that the centers should be for those with no home plan, allowing them to find a home when they have no one out here to do it for them. The DOC reluctantly yielded for those within 6 months of their max dates.

We upped the volume. Back in November, the first inmate with no home plan and years from his max date arrived at Philadelphia CCC#2. He is still there and now has a job. When he violated a minor rule, he went to the PVCC at Liberty instead of back to prison. The prejudice seems to be leaving the system.

To say this has been a battle would be an understatement. Each gain was achieved because we lobbied on behalf of a specific individual. (There are people in HBG who must dread seeing my number on their CID.) We went so far as to draft a comprehensive report and make a solid proposal for a special center, and then suggested we'd release the report to the legislature in a news conference at budget time ... So now the system works for sex offenders.

As of this week, there are 111 men housed in 20 centers statewide. most are clustered in one or two centers per region, with a few spread out elsewhere -- possibly for special programs.

Region 1 (East):
Philadelphia CCC#2: 15
Philadelphia CCC#4: 8
Liberty Management (North): 3
Gaudenzia First, Kintock & Liberty (Phoenix): 1 each.

Region 2 (Central):
Harrisburg CCC: 14
Hazleton Treatment Center: 2
Keystone Corrections Services: 1.

Region 3 (West):
Progress CCC: 43
Sharon CCC: 6
Renewal #1: 6
Erie CCC: 4
Johnstown CCC & Pittsburgh CCC: 2 each
Riverside CCC and Alle-Kiski: 1 each.

(I update this about every 8 weeks)

Some things to keep in mind:
1. The parolee does not need an approved home plan and does not have to be within 6 months of maxing out. (DOC counselors and parole agents don't always know this.)
2. The parolee should be able to show that he has made good effort to get an approved home plan and been denied at least once; being denied more than once may take longer but makes the case stronger.
3. If the parolee is sent to a center and can't get a home plan approved after 90 to 120 days, they will send him to a homeless shelter.
4. He can agree to accept a bed anywhere in the state, which means he's likely to go to Progress CCC.

Please post any personal experiences or observations here. Your input is valuable in our efforts to continually improve the process.
I have a son who is to be released to Renewal Halfway House in Pittsburgh soon. What can I as a parent do to help him be successful there?
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  #65  
Old 09-09-2018, 08:11 AM
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A lot depends on whether or not you're close to Pittsburgh. if so, then by all means spend time with him. Take him to purchase necessities. Help him get to appointments. Help him quickly find a job. Have him spend his "social passes" with family.

If you live too far away, then at least keep in steady contact. Develop a routine with him.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:04 PM
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Hello! After reading this thread, I'm a bit concerned. My son spent 8 years in Mercer. Came home to NC and went back to Camp Hill on a parole violation this past March. He was given a 6 month hit. He's a sex offender. We were under the impression he'd come back home when he was done, but it took a good 4 months before they even decided what to do with him once they got him up to PA. Once the decided to give the 6 month hit, they took a while to begin the paperwork to get him back home. Needless to say, he's due to be released Wednesday and his interstate paperwork is not done. They asked if we had family in PA he can stay with. My sister lives too close to a school, so her place was denied. They said they were sending him to a halfway house until his interstate compact comes through... Guess where he's headed.. Progress. They told me to come pick him up and take him to Progress. They said we can spend the day together, that he would have until Midnight to report to Progress once he's released from prison. Reading the handbook, it looks like he'll be send via bus! he also said he'll need me to take him to the parole office, but I"m not sure that's even the case. From the sounds of the handbook, he's not going to be allowed to leave at all. Can you advise if he's going to be a different situation since he's technically paroled, awaiting his intrastate compact, and not a PV or other individual who's being held there as part of a sentence? I don't want to waste vacation time going up to PA for 5 days if he's going to be locked down and I'm not going to even be able to see him at all. Thanks!
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:41 AM
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I am sorry I didn't see your post until today. Please tell us what happened.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:22 AM
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My son is paroled but home plan denied. He was found guilty of 2 counts corruption of minors a misdemeanor 1 and doesn't have to register but when they checked home plan they are treating him like a sex offender. I'm so done with this. His max is 2025.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:58 AM
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Welcome.

Your son is considered "hard-to-place" (HTP) by the DOC because he is convicted of one or more sexual offenses. The facts that they are neither felonies nor predicates for registration doesn't change the underlying fact that something sexual was involved. Conviction for 18 Pa. C.S.A. 6301(a)(ii) is a sexual offense even though it is no longer a predicate for registration.

All HTP inmates are treated alike because the registry isn't the only way in which housing can become an issue.

For example, a potential landlord will usually also check court records or even run a Google search for news articles. The landlord's concern goes beyond having the address on the website, especially if there are other tenants on the property. So, HTP inmates generally can't get into apartment complexes or private communities.

Also, while your son isn't on the registry, it doesn't mean the Board can't restrict his residency. Obviously the crime involved one or more minors, so the Board doesn't want him living anyplace where minors may be present. This extends to checking with neighbors.

The HTP designation also complicates access to a halfway house. HTP prisoners are considered on a case-by-case basis. Now that he has had a home plan rejected, he should request his counselor submit a referral for placement. The referral will be decided by the Bureau of Community Corrections of the DOC.
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