Release from prison. Where do they go?

I realize, of course, the specific answer to this question will vary from one jurisdiction to another, but I’m sure the general guidelines are similar.

What happens to someone who is released from prison and has no family/friends on the outside to go to. If they have been in prison for any length of time, they probably don’t have a house/apartment waiting for them on the outside. Likewise, they probably haven’t earned enough during thier time in prison to be able to rent a place right away. So, what happens to these people? Do the prison officials just dump them on the street, or is there some sort of program out there for these people?

Zev Steinhardt

Most prisons upon release give you a bus ticket to the place you were living before you went into prison. In the case of the only person I know who goes in and out of prison, not only was he given the bus ticket, he was shipped off to a halfway house back in his hometown to live temporarily until he got back on his feet.

Well, according to this story, sometimes they just get to jump into a car and drive away.

The term you’re looking for is “Halfway House.”

You’re right about the varying degrees of help per jurisdiction. A lot of states are employing private companies to run the halfway houses (leading to the inevitable charges of graft.)

Did a search on Google for “florida halfway house” and most of the hits were for manatees halfway houses! PETA would be so proud.

In this age of the “Nuclear Family” halfway houses are more important than ever to reduce recidivism.

For Riker’s, there is a dark early dropoff in Long Island City, near Queens Plaza. There’s a slew of businesses, from Halfway Houses to cheap hookers, catering to the newly released cons. Not the place to be at 3-4 AM.

It also depends on whether the prisoner’s been released early, on some form of parole, or has served his full sentence. When a prisoner’s paroled, they are still under the authority of the corrections service, and have graduated release, with increasing autonomy. Depending on the stage of the release program, they may be living in a halfway house run by the corrections service. Initially they would have strict curfews, etc., but if they don’t screw up the restrictions would be lifted. The purpose of this type of graduated release is twofold: to provide a support system to the prisoner, to help him find his way back into society, and to monitor the prisoner in the interests of public safety, to see if he poses a risk once he starts getting his freedom back.

Compare this to someone that serves his full sentence. They’re out. No need to report to anyone, no monitoring in the interests of public safety, nothing. (Other than jurisdictions that have things like sex offender registries.)

Dang, that entirely slipped my mind.
Good catch.

I guess in depends both on what state, and how the prisoner is being released. I know that here, if an inmate is released to some form of supervised release (which is nearly everyone except Robert Chambers), he or she has to have a residence approved before release. But that residence can be with family or friends, in a rooming house, a halfway house, a residential program of some type, or a homeless shelter. So while the prison doesn’t exactly dump them on the street with nowhere to go, neither do they always end up in a special program.

Didn’t that movie Double Jeopardy have a houseway house? I think Ashley Judd’s character was in a halfway house after she got paroled.

Alot of prisons in my state used to provide $100 “gate money” and a bus ticket. I believe these programs have been severely cut if not eliminated altogether - due to budget restrictions.

If the prisoners don’t have any friends or family then they will end up at a homeless shelter or YMCA. It’s hard for them to get back on their feet with no help from the outside. This is why they usually end up re-offending so fast. (I’m not saying they should get any handouts - just what I’ve seen happen)

They are sometimes given the option of getting out earlier and finishing part of their time in a halfway house program - still under the jurisdiction of the correctional system. Most of those aren’t much different from being in prison. These programs usually do help them get a job and a place to live when they are done though. If they can make it through the program without re-offending or breaking too many rules. They are required to pay room & board. The rules are very strict and many don’t make it through the entire program.

My ex husband is currently in prison and has been for the past 5 years off and on - so I have first hand experience with this in several instances. He just can’t live on the outside. He doesn’t know how to and they don’t do much to teach them. Well… they probably try but some just don’t want to learn.