8.8. Community Residential Facilities

David Carter and Kate McLean

Moving up in the continuum of community sanctions, community residential facilities would be considered the last stop before jail or prison, as they offer the highest level of supervision. These facilities are often called CCCs (Community Correctional Centers), TCs (Transition Centers), or CBCFs (Community-Based Correctional Facilities), among other names. Community residential facilities often function similarly to halfway houses: providing a stop for individuals just checking in for the days, sometimes providing outpatient treatment services, and even housing residents full-time, when they have been judged to require more continuous supervision.

The primary benefits of community residential facilities – in comparison with traditional correctional institutions – is  their increased focus on rehabilitation and lower costs. The most effective community residential facilities adhere to the principles of effective intervention, deploying evidence-based programming (such as those featured on crimesolutions.gov). Such programs tailor interventions to the criminogenic needs of offenders, match and sort offenders appropriately, and are responsive in their services. For a detailed account of how the PEI integrates into community corrections, see a very detailed report by the National Institute of Corrections: https://s3.amazonaws.com/static.nicic.gov/Library/019342.pdf .

Community Residential Facility Success

You’ve probably anticipated this statement if you’ve gotten this far: research has shown community residential facilities to have mixed effectiveness. Success is largely dependent on the type of facility, the offenders served therein, and the programs they utilize. When diverse offenders are lumped together, in non-directive programs that do not adhere to the PEI, community residential facilities show no better outcomes than jail, prison, or even regular probation. However, when these facilities separate offenders based upon risk, and differentiate their programming accordingly, outcomes are substantially better. [1] Unfortunately, many such facilities do not adhere to these principles, and thus, the full potential of community residential facilities remains to be seen.

  1. Lowenkamp, C.T., & Latessa, E.J. (2004). Residential community corrections and the risk principle: Lessons learned in Ohio. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Research Compendium, 2: 245-254.


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Introduction to the U.S. Criminal Justice System Copyright © 2019 by David Carter and Kate McLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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