American University
thesesdissertations_3195_OBJ.pdf (5.42 MB)

Almost home: The federal halfway house as a rite de passage and inmate as liminal personae

Download (5.42 MB)
posted on 2023-09-06, 03:10 authored by Jonathan Anthony Ortiz

Halfway houses, in their long history, have been used by various groups to aid inmates as they transition back into communities. For many Federal inmates placement in a Community Corrections Center or halfway house marks both the final stage of the prison experience and the beginning of the post-prison experience. The time at a halfway house is then a transitional one, a period between prison and life after prison. This study, conducted at a halfway house in California, is an examination of the transitional state inmates are in while residing at this halfway house. While confined to a halfway house inmates are in a liminal stage, there time at this halfway house is best understood when framed within the theoretical concept of 'rite de passage'. In order to support this thesis I have relied on ethnographic fieldwork. In order to make the argument that residency at a halfway house is best understood as a liminal stage for inmates I have first set out to create a history of halfway houses and place the Federal Bureau of Prison's use of them within that historical context. This was accomplished by the use of archival data. Once this historical context for halfway houses was established, I then located this facility within a specific community and set out to provide a description of inmate's lived experiences while residing there. With this description and understanding of life at the halfway house in place, I then use the theories of rites of passage to direct my analysis of this form of correctional practice. The work entailed here is meant to offer a starting point from with which to address the needs of the increasing number of inmates being released from federal institutions. If inmates are to successfully to reintegrate back into their home communities, then federally funded halfway houses must prepare them for the challenges and obstacles they will face upon releases.







Thesis (Ph.D.)--American University, 2005.


Media type


Access statement

Part of thesis digitization project, awaiting processing.

Usage metrics

    Theses and Dissertations


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager