Professor of Criminal Justice, University of Missouri-St. Louis
- Upon release from prison, sex offenders face large hurdles when seeking housing including legislative sex offender residency restrictions and non-legislative barriers, such as offender stigma, housing shortages and economic challenges.
- Three main pathways of sex offenders into transitional facilities (TFs) are: a lack of resources, sex offender residency and supervision restrictions and TFs as a sanction or punishment.
- While transitional facilities intend to transition from prison to community, many sex offender residents of TFs found living in the TF “no more helpful than being in prison” due to residents’ ongoing problems with drugs and alcohol and the feeling of an increased stigma due to their sex offender status.
- Although TFs were originally conceived as a short-term stopgap between prison and home, many sex offenders in this study found it difficult to leave the facility due to an inability to obtain employment and have adequate income to self-sustain.
In the article, “A New Way of Doing Time on the Outside: Sex Offenders’ Pathways In and Out of a Transitional Housing Facility,” Huebner documents the pathways sex offenders take to transitional facilities and how these experiences color their reentry experience. Huebner interviewed 30 sex offenders who reported living at transitional facilities in Missouri and inquired about their pathway to transitional facilities, their lives in transitional facilities and their pathways out of transitional facilities. Based on their responses, Huebner concludes that transitional housing can be reconfigured to provide residential opportunities for hard to place offenders, like sex offenders.