Prison Policy Initiative: What You Should Know about Halfway Houses
Date:  09-06-2020

The underreporting of COVID-19 cases is just the tip of the iceberg
From Prison Policy Initiative:

In May, an investigation by The Intercept revealed that the federal government is underreporting cases of COVID-19 in halfway houses. Not only is the Bureau of Prisons reporting fewer cases than county health officials; individuals in halfway houses who reached out to reporters described being told to keep their positive test results under wraps.

It shouldn’t take exhaustive investigative reporting to unearth the real number of COVID-19 cases in a halfway house. But historically, very little data about halfway houses has been available to the public, even though they are a major feature of the carceral system. Even basic statistics, such as the number of halfway houses in the country or the number of people living in them, are difficult to impossible to find.

Broadly speaking, there are two reasons for this obscurity: First, halfway houses are mostly privately operated and don’t report data the way public facilities are required to; second, the term “halfway house” is widely used to refer to vastly different types of facilities. So, we compiled the little information that does exist about halfway houses, explaining how various facilities commonly called “halfway houses” differ from each other, and the ways in which these criminal justice facilities often fail to meaningfully support formerly incarcerated people. We also explore why poor conditions and inadequate oversight in halfway houses have made them hotspots for COVID-19. Continue reading >>>