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Federal Probation, Halfway House and Community Supervision This forum is dedicated to information & discussions relating to U.S. Federal Probation & Community Supervision, including half-way houses.

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Old 09-13-2018, 10:08 AM
Nu1 Nu1 is offline
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Default Advice needed: release from Federal; what to expect from a halfway house?

My boyfriend is moving to a halfway house in 80 days from his prison. (Englewood in Denver Colorado)
I’ve no idea what happens. Can anybody explain to me how they work. It’s a new relationship. He’s been inside for 14 years so he’s excited & worried & everything you can imagine feelings wise. I’d like to help him in any way I can. I know he has a job to come out to & full support of his family but I just wondered if anybody had any advice or experience that could help me help him through it. Or explain to me hoe the half way houses work? I’ve no idea.
Thank you in advance
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:26 PM
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It shows that the end of his sentence is near, which is great news. After orientation his main job will be to find a paying job away from the HWH. He will have to pay 25% of his gross pay to the HWH for room & board, but he keeps the rest. The idea is to transition from prison to supervised release by doing things like finding housing, getting updated identification documents, etc.

There are many rules he will have to follow, but they are only slightly different than what he will have to follow from his US probation officer after he is released from bop custody.

This PTO "Sticky" has links to the rule books for residents (no longer called prisoners) for two different bop HWHs. Each is a private business operated under the same bop rules, so there is many similarities in any of them, in any State/location.
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=713211

One problem for many folks is that even though they are still in bop custody at the HWH, they are responsible for the cost of any medical care. People with few resources were forced to find charitable or welfare programs, which are not always available here.
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Old 09-13-2018, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
It shows that the end of his sentence is near, which is great news. After orientation his main job will be to find a paying job away from the HWH. He will have to pay 25% of his gross pay to the HWH for room & board, but he keeps the rest. The idea is to transition from prison to supervised release by doing things like finding housing, getting updated identification documents, etc.

There are many rules he will have to follow, but they are only slightly different than what he will have to follow from his US probation officer after he is released from bop custody.

This PTO "Sticky" has links to the rule books for residents (no longer called prisoners) for two different bop HWHs. Each is a private business operated under the same bop rules, so there is many similarities in any of them, in any State/location.
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=713211

One problem for many folks is that even though they are still in bop custody at the HWH, they are responsible for the cost of any medical care. People with few resources were forced to find charitable or welfare programs, which are not always available here.
I don't know if this is true or not re the medical care, because I am putting my husband back on our group plan, but someone (a former Dr) we know in the HWH now said that medical care in the HWH is not a problem because technically you're still under the BOP healthcare so it is not a problem getting it. I have no idea if that is the case, or only where he is or not, but just passing that along. This was in July when he told me that, so perhaps that is how it is done now.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:53 PM
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With the half way house can he come & go as he pleases etc? Is it just like a room in a house? What sort of freedom will have have? Will he sign in or out etc? Will he be ‘tagged’
I’ve no idea what will happen.

Thank you
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Old 09-13-2018, 09:13 PM
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With the half way house can he come & go as he pleases etc? Is it just like a room in a house? What sort of freedom will have have? Will he sign in or out etc? Will he be Ďtaggedí
Iíve no idea what will happen.

Thank you
No, he will not be able to come and go as he pleases. They are very restrictive and in some cases, can be even more restrictive for some people than the prisons.

I was just reading the "handbook" for where my husband will be going today, and some of the rules are ridiculous. Visiting is limited to 3 hours a week, he can leave for a certain number of hours per week for but the specific itinerary has to be given and if there is weekday programming than it can only be on the weekends and there must be a landline. When he is on home confinement he will not be allowed out on Fridays except for work. Curfew is 7pm, etc.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:41 AM
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In the HWH I was in, residents were sent to the local welfare office if they didn't have medical insurance, and most of them didn't. My private insurance was worthless while I was still in prison, but it became invaluable at the HWH (making up for the awful medical care in prison), and during supervised release.

Medicaid may be available in the State where they are released, and urgent care is available in hospital emergency rooms, but without health coverage the bill is between the patient and the hospital.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:02 PM
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At the VOA HH in Baltimore, they sent anyone without health insurance to Healthcare for the Homeless, a local charity clinic. Certainly better than BOP healthcare, but that's not saying much!



While HH is supposed to help you find permanent housing and employment, in my LO's experience, they threw so many obstacles in the path of actual jobhunting (requiring permission days ahead of time to actually go to any interview), as to make it next to impossible.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:10 AM
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The half way houses are not a hotel he has requirements to accomplish while there. If he wants to stay out of prison he will do everything he's required to. The 1/2 way houses are barely a step above county jail. So expect him to not be doing much until he's working full time and paying restitution, rent, transportation, and the million other things that cost.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:58 AM
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The half way houses are not a hotel he has requirements to accomplish while there. If he wants to stay out of prison he will do everything he's required to. The 1/2 way houses are barely a step above county jail. So expect him to not be doing much until he's working full time and paying restitution, rent, transportation, and the million other things that cost.
This is why I asked. If you read I said I had NO idea what to expect. Iím not American. Iím English so I literally have NO idea how the system works.
I donít know if heís allowed a mobile phone, can he get a bank account? Retake his driving licence? He seems to think he will be there a month & then he will return home to his moms house in Utah.
Things are extremely different here in England.
Iím reading the handbook etc but thereís still stuff I donít understand.
Iíll get there, I just want to be as supportive as I can.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
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This is why I asked. If you read I said I had NO idea what to expect. Iím not American. Iím English so I literally have NO idea how the system works.
I donít know if heís allowed a mobile phone, can he get a bank account? Retake his driving licence? He seems to think he will be there a month & then he will return home to his moms house in Utah.
Things are extremely different here in England.
Iím reading the handbook etc but thereís still stuff I donít understand.
Iíll get there, I just want to be as supportive as I can.
The HWH my husband is supposed to go to will allow a cell phone as long as it has no camera capabilities and no internet capabilities. The rumor was that they were allowing smart phones beginning Sept 1, but that was only a rumor and has not happened from what I understand.

Yes to a bank account, however, the rules of his supervision, which is on his judgment papers will dictate if he is allowed to have credit cards (depending on his crime usually) and if he is allowed to charge things or get permission first. I recall in my husband's case (white collar) the probation officer who was assigned to him for sentencing, first marked off that he couldn't charge things without permission or something like that, but his crime was not financial and his restitution was paid off, so the judge got rid of that fortunately. That one seems like it could really be a pain in the ass. I would have literally just told my husband to use cash as opposed to having big brother looking over him at every second of the day, so if that's an option I would consider that to some degree.

Driver's license, yes if it's expired, but he also has to have access to a car and I they don't allow that right away or at least until they've gone through orientation I believe and then have to show it has insurance and all the proper registration and title in order. That is not a big deal, however, most of the HWH are in bad neighborhoods, so you definitely want to be careful as to what kind of car you are parking there. That is something we are going back and forth on right now. My husband will be 60, he can't be expected to be walking 20 mins to a bus in 20 below weather, so we may have to bring a car down there for him, however, I'm not thrilled with the idea with one of our cars being in that neighborhood either, so it's a catch 22 to some degree.

We have recently learned that the HWH here has a lot of issues and have decided to retain an attorney in hopes to avoid some of those issues. My husband was approved for direct home confinement, which would mean he is supposed to go right to HC after finishing orientation at the HWH, however, the HWH is finding excuses to keep them there, especially white collar guys, as well as claiming they are 6 weeks behind in the home inspections, which is ridiculous. They won't set up the home inspection until you actually get there and prove on paper that you have the land line (which I already have). His entire HWH time is only 53 days, so it's stupid to sit there waiting for a home visit for 42 days, work to pay them 25% of what he makes, and be driving back and forth between a job and Dr appointments, etc. and deal with those restrictions, when he can actually be productive and working and not running all over the place. If he's in HWH, he won't be able to do the job at the HWH because he needs a laptop so it's just completely inefficient. On HC, he can actually do it and work from home if he wants.

Hopefully this attorney can do something, he knows the system, the players, and his PO. He is actually going to first aim for a program they have that skips HWH altogether and is straight hc, but we'll see. No guarantees on that, and we're not banking on that. Just don't want him stuck in the HWH for 6 weeks over their BS excuses. This guy will also help us get him off supervised release early and fortunately he said that will be no problem based on who our PO is and who the Judge was. So finally, some good news and perhaps the end of this nightmare. Of course, just more money to spend!

Keep asking questions, trust me that is how you will be the most prepared and not completely shocked when he gets there.
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Old 12-22-2018, 07:56 PM
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Bit of a update from me ladies...I do hope you’re all well
He got to the HWH is Salt Lake City a week Thursday just gone. He has a job & started Wednesday just past. He is working with his friend (who employed him) and had done two 12 hour shifts. He’s off yesterday & today & back tomorrow. He has apparently broke history at the HWH for being the only guy to get a job & start it so fast. He has a normal cell phone so I can talk to him. I use the company ‘Localphone’ to call him because obviously I’m in the UK. If Anybody has any ideas on how to keep the text prices down then throw them my way. I wish he could use WhatsApp! Haha! I got him a tablet that’s at his moms in Utah which he can use when he gets there. He’s got a 12 hour xmas day pass so he can spend him with the family on Tuesday. I’m so happy for him. Obviously I want to go over now, I’m itching, he’s itching for me to go too but there is no way I’d be so selfish. I’d like him back at his moms out the HWH first so he can settle properly & adjust.
Does anybody have any advice or ideas to help him? Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
I hope one day he can come to England & visit or better still live. Obviously a dream away at the minute but one lives in hope.
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Old 12-23-2018, 11:07 AM
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Bit of a update from me ladies...I do hope youíre all well
He got to the HWH is Salt Lake City a week Thursday just gone. He has a job & started Wednesday just past. He is working with his friend (who employed him) and had done two 12 hour shifts. Heís off yesterday & today & back tomorrow. He has apparently broke history at the HWH for being the only guy to get a job & start it so fast. He has a normal cell phone so I can talk to him. I use the company ĎLocalphoneí to call him because obviously Iím in the UK. If Anybody has any ideas on how to keep the text prices down then throw them my way. I wish he could use WhatsApp! Haha! I got him a tablet thatís at his moms in Utah which he can use when he gets there. Heís got a 12 hour xmas day pass so he can spend him with the family on Tuesday. Iím so happy for him. Obviously I want to go over now, Iím itching, heís itching for me to go too but there is no way Iíd be so selfish. Iíd like him back at his moms out the HWH first so he can settle properly & adjust.
Does anybody have any advice or ideas to help him? Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
I hope one day he can come to England & visit or better still live. Obviously a dream away at the minute but one lives in hope.
I think you are doing everything correctly. Slow and steady wins the race. Get through the first few months and then plan accordingly.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:08 PM
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Mentally he has to be committed to the process.
He has to remember that he is still not free and still belongs to the system. One screw up and he can end up right back behind bars.

The halfway house can be the most difficult part of a sentence. Just released, but still under loads of restrictions. But also one step away from the temptations of the streets. (Drugs, cell phones, alcohol, curfew)

I've seen many guys get out and come right back in after a few weeks because they got in trouble.

Keep him positive and do the best you can to stear him away from any negative influences in the house.
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Old 12-23-2018, 05:03 PM
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He needs to understand that he is still in bop custody at both the HWH and/or home confinement. No reason is necessary to return him to prison, so when there is a reason. there is no hesitation from the bop community corrections manager in deciding to send him back, at least there wasn't in my HWH.

End of sentence is the first moment when he will be out from under the direct control of the bop. (but under the control of the US Probation Office).
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:43 PM
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He completely understands that.
He is lucky he is surrounded by a supportive network. He is able to cycle to work & back, when he gets a pass which he’s hardly has yet apart from to get hygiene products & work, I think he will find it more difficult. He was a addict when he went into prison but he hasn’t took a drug once while he was there & is 15 years sober.
His addiction was the only reason he got into crime. I honestly don’t think he would go back down that road ever again but one never really knows.
He is allowed a cell phone, but not a smartphone. He has the tablet I got him but obviously that won’t leave his moms house. He will be there xmas day for 12 hours.
I’m not sure how long you stay at the HWH generally.
He is extremely committed to the process, like he says he’s not free yet at all but it feels like it is in the respect he’s at the other end of the phone now.
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