Living In A Reentry Transitional Housing Center: What To Know Before You Move In

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Prison generates a unique social ecosystem plagued by a lack of trust, poor role models, and stark power imbalances. Inmates must adapt their survival skills to get them through each day. Inmates with prolonged sentences may bring these new survival habits with them after they get released, even if the new habits don't adhere to the rules of normal society. To reduce the time inmates spend in prison and help transition between prison and civilian life, many inmates get the option to take part in an incarceration transitional housing program. Learn more about both the advantages and disadvantages of a reentry transitional housing center

Advantages of Incarceration Transitional Housing

A reentry transitional housing program center reduces prison crowding, making it advantageous for prisons. However, there are many advantages for the inmates as well.

More Freedom

While minimal at first, you will get more freedom at a transitional housing center compared to prison. While you'll still have to adhere to court-ordered restrictions, you won't have guards watching you all the time.

There's also a significant amount of freedom when switching from living with hundreds of people to a dozen or fewer.

Residential Environment

Many transitional housing centers look like real houses and apartments. You will have regular chores again. You will get to learn about your community and walk to the store, park, or movie theater like a free person (pending prior approval, of course). You are no longer limited to the prison grounds. You're back in a community.

Become a Member of Society Again

Living in society will give you the opportunity to become a member of society again. You will start by making acquaintances in your local area. Soon, you will get a job that will allow you to contribute to society. If you crave more involvement, you can find local charities, too. 

Disadvantages of Incarceration Transitional Housing

Everything has its downside. Here are some of the disadvantages of incarceration transitional housing

Strict Rules and Monitoring

You may be out of prison, but you're still under the supervision of correction officers, albeit in a slightly loosened capacity. You may still have a curfew, drug testing, and monitoring of your phone and internet usage.

Breaking the rules can lead to a one-way trip back to your prison cell.


One thing many inmates don't realize is how desperate they become for freedom after they leave the prison grounds. It can be very tempting to hang out with old friends and indulge in pre-prison pleasures. 

While you will need to summon all of your self-control at first, a reentry transitional housing center makes the transition from prison to civilian life as painless as possible. It's worth every frustration along the way to breathe the fresh air whenever you want.