Rules for Halfway Houses

By Taunda Edwards ; Updated June 17, 2017
Male feet in leather shoes stand on white pier

Residents sign an agreement when they arrive at a halfway house. The agreement states all the rules and regulations that the inmate must follow until he is released from the custody of the government and back into society. While in the halfway house, an inmate may not use drugs or drink alcohol. An inmate must get permission before leaving the halfway house. Violating the rules of the halfway house can result in being discharged from the facility and being sent back to prison or jail.

Halfway House

A halfway house is a facility that allows inmates the opportunity to reconnect with society. Halfway houses do not just house inmates that are on furlough or release from prison, but also individuals with drug and alcohol addictions and mental disabilities. Residents of a halfway house typically stay one to six months, but some stay for up to a year.

Leaving The Halfway House

An inmate placed in a halfway house facility or program cannot leave the premises without permission. All inmates are still under the care of the government, and the facility must know where the inmates are at all times. If an inmate tells officers he is going to be at one place, such as work or school, the officer can verify this. If it turns out the inmate is not where he claimed to be, halfway house authorities can petition to have the inmate discharged and sent back to jail or prison.

Legal Trouble

If an inmate is arrested for any reason while out on a temporary pass from the halfway house, the inmate must report the arrest immediately. Failing to report the arrest to the halfway house authorities can result in an immediate discharge from the halfway house and possibly more legal trouble for the inmate.

Group Meetings

Some inmates have alcohol and substance-abuse problems. For these inmates, counseling and group therapy may be necessary for the recovery process. Failing to show up for the meetings and sessions is a violation of the halfway house procedures, and an inmate can be sent back to prison.


Finding employment is a requirement for all inmates in halfway house. Some halfway houses require the inmates to find employment within 15 days. The halfway house programs require an inmate to work because inmates are responsible for paying a certain percentage of their upkeep, which varies among federal, state and local halfway house programs.

About the Author

Taunda Edwards began writing in 1997 and received her bachelor's degree in secondary education from Miami University of Ohio in 2004. In 2005 she pursued her writing career on a full-time basis. Her first novel was published by T.A.D.D. Writes publications. She was a 2006 "Moviemaker Magazine" feature.