Main content

Residential Reentry Centers Reference Guide

This guide provides background information, a legal framework, operational information, and policy considerations for use of residential reentry centers in the federal criminal justice system.

The federal judiciary relies on Residential Reentry Centers (RRCs), also known as halfway houses or community correctional facilities, during various phases in the federal criminal justice system. RRCs are operated by vendors under contract with the probation and pretrial services offices (pretrial) or the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) (post-conviction). They are used as an alternative to pretrial detention, for alternative (non-custodial) sentences, as a prerelease option from incarceration, and as an intermediate sanction for noncompliance by persons under supervision. RRCs can provide a safe, structured, and supervised environment for individuals. RRCs further provide employment counseling, job placement, financial management assistance, and other programs and services. Placement in a RRC comes with hope that the individual will maintain or rebuild ties to the community and not recidivate.

This guide provides historical information on RRCs, a legal framework for use of RRCs, RRC operational information, and policy considerations for use of RRCs in the federal criminal justice system.1

History of RRCs

The BOP’s first established halfway houses, better known as “Pre-Release Guidance Centers,” were run by BOP staff and focused on youthful inmates. Following the Federal Prisoner Rehabilitation Act of 1965, the BOP expanded the program to include adults, and renamed halfway houses “Community Treatment Centers” (CTCs). By 1967, five CTCs were operated by contractors. In 1981, due to staff reductions, the BOP eliminated CTCs run by BOP staff, choosing to rely solely on contract providers. Later CTCs were renamed as Residential Reentry Centers (RRCs).2

Download the full document (pdf) or explore different sections below.


Legal Framework

How RRCs Operate and When to Impose

Sample Language for Court Orders

1 This resource guide is for general information purposes only. It does not create any legal rights or set any precedent.    

2 The terms “Halfway House” and “RRC” are used interchangeably in this document.