Home Plan Status
The inmate submits a completed home plan form on where they want to live during parole supervision in the community to the institutional parole agent at the SCI. This paperwork is then sent to the parole field office in the community to conduct the proposed home plan investigation. The parole agent will either call the home and talk with the proposed home provider to arrange a meeting within the home to do the review OR will leave a message and request the person call him/her back to set up a meeting date and time. The parole agent may also go to the home and leave his/her business card and a copy of a home plan brochure at the residence and request a return call so the parole agent may conduct the interview.
Home plan investigations typically take up to 45 days to complete for an in-state (Pennsylvania) home plan. An in-state home plan is valid for 150 days. An out-of-state home plan is valid for 120 days.
If a home plan request is denied, the reasons for the denial are not given to the inmate or to any family member or friend of the inmate.
The inmate is informed of the results of the home plan investigation FIRST by the parole institutional staff. Family members and friends of the inmate need to contact the inmate FIRST to learn the results of the home plan, not the Board of Probation and Parole.
If the home plan is denied, the inmate may give institutional parole staff another proposed place to live so it can be investigated. The forms needed for all home plan investigations are available at each institution.
Parole supervision staff will conduct visits to the residence after the person is paroled to the approved home plan. Such visits may occur unannounced and at any time. During such visits, parole staff have the authority to conduct searches to make sure parole conditions are being followed.
No weapons are permitted in the home.
Out-of-State Home Plans
Interstate home plans must be submitted through your institutional parole agent. Interstate transfer applications require a non-refundable application fee of $125 at the time of application. If you submit plans for more than one state, each application needs the $125 fee. The fee applies to each application whether the home plan is accepted or not approved. The person in the other state who will be your home provider will need to submit a letter of financial responsibility stating they will provide for your food and housing needs until you are able to provide for yourself.
Home Plan Information for Sex Offenders
Inmates convicted of a sex offense often ask if they are able to live with their family after release. The answer is: it depends. Home plans for sex offenders must comply with the Board’s sex offender protocol. As an example, if the sex offense involved a minor victim, the home plan cannot be within close proximity of a daycare, school, playground, or other place that minors gather. Parole Agents may impose additional conditions on a case by case basis.
Home Plan Information for Existing Person on Probation/Parole In Residence
Inmates may submit a home plan proposal to a home even if someone living there is already on parole or probation. Approval of the home plan depends on the other person’s relationship to the inmate and whether or not their presence would increase the inmate’s risk of re-offending. All home plan reviews are on a case by case basis.
Home Plan Information About Dogs
Living in a residence with a dog while on parole depends on the type and number of dogs and their personalities. The parole agent’s safety is the primary consideration whether a specific dog(s) is allowed. This decision will be made by the parole agent who inspects the home or who supervises the inmate after release. The parole agent should be asked before adding a dog to a residence so the parolee is not forced to get rid of the dog or move to a new residence in order to comply with parole supervision. All home plan reviews are on a case by case basis.
Home plan investigations are done to protect public safety and to build the best foundation for the inmate’s successful return to the community. It is important the home provider understands the impact and responsibility of having a parolee reside in their home.
Parole supervision staff must meet with the proposed home provider, in person, inside the residence. It is very important the home provider be available to meet with the agent, and review and sign the formal Home Provider Agreement Letter. Home plans are denied when the home providers do not answer or return phone calls, and do not respond to official business cards left at the residence by the field supervision staff. Refusal to cooperate means a likely denial of a home plan for the inmate.
Supervision staff will discuss public information about the inmate’s conviction with the home provider. The agent will provide the location and business hours of the local parole office. Supervision staff also will consider input from police, neighbors, and community members. Additionally, supervision staff will review the availability of community resources needed to assist the inmate with reentry.
Questions Asked of the Proposed Home Provider
- List of the occupants and their relationship to inmate, age, sources of income, criminal records and feelings toward the inmate.
- The inmate’s responsibilities such as paying rent, utilities or have rules to follow.
- Proximity to employment and availability of public transportation.
- Presence of weapons in the home. If so, they must be removed.
- A history of domestic violence with members of the household.
- If the home provider rents or leases the proposed plan, staff must speak with the landlord and view the lease.
- If the home plan does not include employment, there must be verifiable alternatives such as family support, Social Security income, or disability income.
Key Home Plan Decision Factors
- Circumstances that would place the parole supervision staff in danger.
- The physical condition of the home is unsafe or unfit.
- Conditions existing within the proposed home that would present the likelihood of the individual committing similar offenses or technical parole violations.
- The proposed home provider is not currently cooperative with parole supervision staff.
- The presence in the home of other parolees or those on probation for serious offenses which may increase the parolee’s risk of re-offending.
- Conditions leading to the offense are not re-established, such as, when the victim or victim’s family resides in the household or in close proximity, domestic violence issues, and sex offender issues.
- The proposed home provider is unwilling to agree to conditions contained in the home agreement.
Home Provider Responsibilities
The home provider must cooperate with parole supervision staff by providing thorough and truthful information. Prior to the inmate’s release, the home provider must report any changes in the home plan, such as, withdrawal of the home offer or people moving in or out of the home.
Supervision staff expect the home provider to fully cooperate for as long as the person is on supervision. The home provider is expected to inform parole supervision staff of changes and concerns.
If the parolee moves out, spends nights at another house, loses a job, gets a new job, or is violating conditions of supervision, the home provider needs to report this to the supervision staff.