April 10, 2000
CORRECTIONAL HALFWAY HOUSE ADMISSION DISCRETION
By: Lawrence K. Furbish, Acting Director
You asked if a correctional halfway house can refuse to accept an inmate and, if yes, whether the law could be changed to require them to accept any inmate transferred by the commissioner of the Department of Correction.
Currently, a halfway house can refuse to accept an inmate. The DOC commissioner is authorized to transfer an inmate from one correctional institution to another “or to any public or private nonprofit halfway house, group home or mental health facility with the concurrence of the warden, superintendent or person in charge of the facility to which said person is being transferred” (CGS § 18-100(e)).
The General Assembly could amend this statute and remove the provision for concurrence. The issues would be whether this action could affect existing contracts between DOC and halfway house providers and the willingness of the halfway houses and other institutions to continue to want to do business with the state. Currently, according to the Prison and Jail Overcrowding Commission's latest report (January 14, 2000), DOC contracts for 753 residential halfway house beds. Many of them provide specialized mental health and substance abuse treatment services.