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New halfway house rules set to ease transition from prison to freedom

  • McClatchy Washington Bureau
  • Published Monday, March 24, 2014, at 3:57 p.m.

The Justice Department is proposing new halfway house requirements designed to smooth the transition from prison to freedom.

More than 30,000 federal inmates passed through a halfway house last year.

Under the proposed new requirements, these halfway houses will have to provide a specialized form of treatment to prisoners, including those with mental health and substance abuse issues. For the first time, halfway houses will also have to provide greater assistance to inmates who are pursuing job opportunities, such as permitting cell phones to be used by inmates and providing funds for transportation.

The standard contracts that apply to federal halfway houses will be modified, following a comment period.

“For the first time, we will require all 200-plus halfway houses in the federal system to offer standardized treatment to prisoners with mental health and substance abuse issues,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video.

Testimony and reports on halfway houses include this and this.

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