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Chapter 3: Residential Reentry Center (Probation and Supervised Release Conditions)

A. Statutory Authority

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(11), the court may provide that the defendant “reside at, or participate in the program of, a community corrections facility (including a facility maintained or under contract to the Bureau of Prisons) for all or part of the term of [supervision].”

B. Sample Condition Language

You must reside in a residential reentry center for a term of ______ days. You must follow the rules and regulations of the center.

C. Purpose

  1. This condition serves the statutory sentencing purposes of deterrence, public protection, and rehabilitation.  18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(B)-(D).
  2. This condition enables the probation officer to satisfy the statutory requirements to keep informed as to the conduct and condition of the defendant, report the defendant’s conduct and condition to the sentencing court, and aid the defendant and bring about improvements in his or her conduct and condition.  18 U.S.C. § 3603(2)-(3).
  3. For probation cases, this condition may serve the statutory purposes of reflecting the seriousness of the offense, promoting respect for the law, and providing just punishment for the offense.  18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(A).
  4. Placement in a residential reentry center (RRC) is a versatile condition that can serve multiple purposes.  It can, for example, provide temporary housing and services for a defendant transitioning from a custodial sentence with no identifiable or appropriate residence, or for a defendant who unexpectedly becomes homeless or experiences an episode of instability during a term of probation or supervised release.  It may also serve as a negative consequence or controlling intervention in response to noncompliance with conditions of release.
    1. This condition allows the probation officer to implement supervision methods demonstrated by social science to be effective at achieving positive outcomes.Research suggests that correctional interventions that follow the principles of evidence-based practices promote positive change in the defendant and reduce the probability of recidivism. One of the evidence-based practices principles is that officers should address criminogenic needs. Placement in an RRC can provide a structured living environment to ensure that defendants are addressing relevant criminogenic needs (see: Chapter 1, Section III(A)(1)).
    2. Research suggests that for a criminal event to occur there must be an opportunity to commit a crime. Probation officers may work with defendants on supervision, family members, neighbors, other community members, and law enforcement agencies to structure and monitor the defendant’s routine activities and reduce the extent to which defendants come into contact with criminal opportunities. Probation officers may also monitor defendants through contacts with the defendant and his or her social network, verifying employment, restricting travel, and providing positive reinforcement for prosocial routine activities. Placement in an RRC can assist in ensuring that defendants avoid criminal opportunities in the community and can provide control and monitoring by correctional officials (see: Chapter 1, Section III(A)(4)).

D. Method of Implementation

  1. When the primary purpose of an RRC placement is controlling in response to noncompliance with conditions of supervision or an increase in risk level, the probation officer may seek placement in a structured residential setting. Conversely, when the primary purpose is to provide reintegrative services, the probation officer may seek placement in an RRC, although a less restrictive program may be more appropriate. Before determining the appropriate placement, the probation officer verifies the necessary services and level of confinement that will be available.
  2. Once the court imposes a condition requiring RRC placement, the probation officer submits a referral packet (including the court’s order of RRC placement, judgment form, and presentence report) to the Bureau of Prisons so that it can designate the defendant to the appropriate facility.
  3. Once the defendant is designated, the probation officer provides reporting instructions. Probation officers communicate clearly to both the defendant and facility staff the purpose and goals of the RRC placement. They establish and maintain ongoing communication among all parties focused on identifying steps necessary to achieve the defendant’s successful reintegration into the community and compliance with the conditions of supervision.
  4. Probation officers work with facility staff to identify correctional strategies during an RRC placement, which may include assistance in securing an appropriate residence; assistance in seeking or preparing to seek employment, vocational training, or educational services; financial education or credit counseling; or therapeutic services to stabilize a mental health condition or manage a substance abuse relapse.  The probation officer monitors progress toward the programming goals through regular communication with the defendant and facility staff.
  5. Probation officers also work with facility staff to identify controlling strategies during an RRC placement. These include the requirement that the defendant abide by the rules and regulations of the program, which exist not only as a sanction for some defendants but also to ensure the safe, effective operation of the facility and protection of facility residents, staff, and public. The rules and regulations may include limits on movement in the community, restrictions on association or visitation, curfews, administrative searches, or random substance abuse testing.  The facility staff may impose additional restrictions or sanctions on defendants who violate the rules and regulations of the program. The probation officer monitors the defendant’s compliance with the rules and regulations and intervenes as necessary.