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DOJ Calls For More Oversight Of Privately Operated Halfway Houses
The federal government has contracts with more than 180 privately run halfway houses across the country. There are at least seven in Arizona located in Phoenix, Tucson and Florence.
In a memo, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates with the Department of Justice laid out 10 steps for the Bureau of Prisons to follow when renewing contracts with privately run Residential Reentry Centers, or RRCs. They include establishing uniform standards, providing stronger oversight of contracts, and creating performance metrics for factors like recidivism and hireability upon re-entry.
Emily Verdugo is a program coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee in Arizona. She says it is an important step toward reform, "To ensure that formerly incarcerated folks are getting the necessary services they need while in their facilities.”
The Department of Justice memo says in addition to these steps, the Bureau of Prisons will consider developing government-owned halfway houses to increase competition in areas with few private facilities.