Sober Housing for Parolees

There are a number of reasons people choose to pursue sober housing. Some are referred by themselves, their families, or their friends. Others are referred by the criminal justice system. There can also be an overlap where people in the system refer themselves. It’s important to acknowledge the needs of criminal justice referred residents.

In a lot of cases, the continued sobriety of an individual hinges on their residency in a sober house. This is especially true of people leaving prison, who may not have a home to return to. Perhaps, they could not maintain a home while incarcerated or perhaps they cannot return to their former home because they can’t continue to abstain from drugs and alcohol in that environment.

It’s important that sober houses serve this population of residents in the best way that it can. Sadly, many residents who are referred by the criminal justice system aren’t able to maintain employment and avoid subsequent arrests after exiting sober housing. This should be discussed so that these residents can concentrate their efforts toward goals that will help to prevent these outcomes.

If you are exiting the criminal justice system and you feel that a sober house will allow you to continue your recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, you are right. They are a remarkable resource. For help finding an appropriate sober living residence, get help today at 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?). Get your questions answered and get recommendations to a house that will be perfect for you and your needs.

The Criminal Justice System


Motivational interviewing can help parolees succeed in sober housing.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, overcrowding of prisons and jails has reached a crisis point. Every year, they report, over 7 million people are released from local jails and into communities. In addition, over 600,000 are released on parole from prison.

Among these individuals, the need for drug and alcohol treatment is quite high, but sadly, very few will receive care during or after their imprisonment. In addition, research shows that very few people exiting state prisons has access to satisfactory housing. In fact, in larger cities, roughly one third become homeless.

Because of the high rate of housing instability, there are high rates of reincarceration. In California, approximately two-thirds of parolees return to incarceration within three years.

Sober Housing and Referral

In these communities, sober housing can provide much needed support. If you find yourself seeking a stable, drug- and alcohol-free environment and have had a relationship with the prison system, sober houses are a valuable resource. But, they are largely ignored. They shouldn’t be.

In one study of a sober living house, 29 percent were referred through the criminal justice system. However, 42 percent had been arrested at least once in the last six months. That’s sizable.

Improving Outcomes

The good news is that drug and alcohol outcomes for those referred by the criminal justice system match those of voluntary residents. So, if you find yourself in sober housing at the recommendation of the justice system, you have just as much chance of succeeding as anyone.

However, SAMHSA reports you statistically will not fare as well as voluntary residents when it comes to “finding and maintaining employment and avoiding arrests.”

Sober housing experts advocate developing a process of motivational interviewing case management. Motivational interviewing is a method that helps participants develop and maintain motivations. Through goal-oriented counselling, clients explore and resolve ambivalence, which causes behavior change.

Sober Living Facilities as an Alternative to Jail Time

It should help participants transition into sober housing, commit to abstaining from drugs and alcohol, follow parole terms to avoid rearrests, and succeed at transitioning back into the community. The goal is to help residents move past their mixed feelings about living in sober housing and engaging in community services.

If you are planning on living in a sober house and you want to fight the statistics, you can make it a point to work on your own ambivalence. By developing personal motivation, you can take better advantage of the benefits that sober housing offers. The sooner you can open yourself to the possibilities, the sooner you will experience positive outcomes.

If you are exiting the prison system or have recently experienced an arrest, you may get the stability you need from a sober house. For help finding a house that can help you, get help today at 800-953-3913 (Who Answers?). Motivate yourself to call.

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