Kevin E. Meehan
Halfway houses are community-based facilities for those on the fringes of society; they provide access to community resources and offer transitional opportunities for individuals who are attempting to return to society as healthy, law-abiding, and productive members of the community. The concept of the halfway house is predicated upon the ideals of humanitarianism, rehabilitation, and reintegration. More often referred to as “community treatment centers” in contemporary criminal justice and social services systems, halfway houses have been inextricably linked to the dominant punishment philosophy of their eras. According to Hugh Barlow (1990: 523), “no single description adequately conveys the myriad forms the nation's halfway houses have taken…. the facilities provide housing for psychiatric patients, delinquent children, alcoholics and other problem drug users, neglected children, homeless adults, [and] the mentally retarded, as well as criminal offenders.” From the mid-eighteenth to the early part of the nineteenth century, correctional philosophy in Europe and ...