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In the United States, a halfway house is a residential center where drug users, sex offenders, the mentally ill, or convicted felons are placed immediately after their release from a primary institution such as a prison, hospital or rehabilitation facility. The purpose of a halfway house is to allow the persons to begin the process of reintegration with society, while still providing monitoring and support; this is generally believed to reduce the risk of recidivism or relapse when compared to a release directly into society.
There is often opposition from neighborhoods where halfway houses attempt to locate.
In the United Kingdom, the corresponding institution is known as a "bail hostel" , and "halfway house" usually refers instead to a place where victims of child abuse, orphans or teenage runaways can stay. The latter are often run by the Church of England, other churches, charities, and community groups.