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Halfway Houses for Federal Offenders: What Do We Know About Them?

NCJ Number
Forum on Corrections Research Volume: 15 Issue: 1 Dated: May 2003 Pages: 22-24
Elizabeth White
Date Published
May 2003
3 pages
This article explains a current study designed to examine the effectiveness of half-way houses in Canada.
Canada currently boasts approximately 175 non-governmental Community Residential Facilities (CRF) and has enjoyed a strong history of involvement of the voluntary sector in providing transitional residential services to Federal offenders under conditional release. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these CRF’s. Since correctional service provision based on best practices and research only emerged during the early 1990’s, research on half-way houses has lagged far behind the times. As such, the St. Leonard’s Society of Canada (SLSC) and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), in collaboration with the Canadian Training Institute, began a research project to examine “what works” in community-based resident services and programs. The article describes the research project, which is divided into two phases spanning 4 years. The first phase, slated for 2002-2003, involves the development of a profile of half-way house residents through the use of personal interviews. The second phase, slated for 2003-2004, will examine the effectiveness of various models of half-way houses and offer recommendations for improvements. Background for the study is reviewed, as is the methodology, which involves a literature review and the development of a broad-based advisory committee. Finally, the article expresses confidence that the research project will support half-way houses in their efforts at improvement. Endnotes