Frequently Asked Questions

What are my rights as a resident?

Program participants have the following rights:

  • To have private visits from a lawyer, doctor or clergyman at reasonable times, but should be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance through RHP staff.
  • To consult with a private, licensed practitioner at one’s own expense.
  • To have a right to see and review one’s own treatment record.
  • To correspond by sealed mail with officials of the Department of Corrections, a lawyer, or the court.
  • To humane care and treatment.
  • To medical treatment in accordance with the highest standards accepted in medical practice.
  • To safe and clean housing.
  • To attend or not attend religious services.
  • To receive prompt evaluation, care, and treatment.
  • To have their rehabilitation plan explained.
  • To be treated with dignity and addressed in a respectful, age appropriate manner.
  • To be subject to an experiment only with consent or the consent of a person legally authorized to act.
  • To have an examination by a doctor at the participant's expense.
  • To be evaluated and cared for in the least restrictive environment allowed by the court.
  • To refuse hazardous treatment, unless ordered by the court.
  • To request and receive a second opinion before hazardous treatment, except in an emergency.
  • To have nourishing, well-balanced meals.
  • To be paid for work unrelated to treatment.
  • To have records kept confidential.
  • To have the same legal rights and responsibilities as any other citizen, unless otherwise stated by law.
  • To not be denied admission or services because of race, creed, marital status, national origin, gender, sexual preference, age, or handicap.
  • To be free from abuse, neglect, corporal punishment and other mistreatment such as humiliation, threats, or exploitation.
  • To be free from sexual harassment: as defined by this policy includes, but is not limited to, sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, visual forms of a sexual or offensive nature (e.g., signs, pictures, and drawings), or requests for sexual favors.
  • To a nourishing, well-balanced, varied diet;
  • To attend or not attend religious services;
  • To communicate by sealed mail with DMH and, if applicable, legal counsel and court of jurisdiction;
  • To receive visits from one’s attorney, physician or clergy in private at reasonable times; and
  • o To be paid for work unrelated to treatment, except that an individual may be expected to perform limited tasks     and chores within the program that are designed to promote personal involvement and responsibility, skill building or peer support. Any tasks and chores beyond routine care and cleaning of activity or bedroom areas within the program must be directly related to recovery and treatment plan goals developed with the individual.

Program participants also have the following rights unless restrictions have been placed by court rules or sentencing courts order:

  • To wear one’s own clothes and keep and use one’s own personal possessions.
  • To keep and be allowed to spend a reasonable amount of one’s own funds
  • To have reasonable access to a telephone
  • To make and to receive confidential calls
  • To have reasonable access to current newspapers, magazines, and radio and television programming.
  • To be free from seclusion and restraint
  • To have opportunities for physical exercise and outdoor recreation
  • To receive visitors or one’s own choosing at reasonable hours; and
  • To communicate by sealed mail with individuals outside the facility
  • Limits on Participant Rights:  will not be made unless they are prescribed in the Reality House rules manual and must be detailed on a participant violation report and signed by the Executive Director

Federal confidentiality regulations require that participants receive a written summary of their rights.

  • During program in-processing, participants will review and sign a copy of “Participant Rights”.
  • A copy of “Participant Rights” will be posted on the staff bulletin board.
  • A copy of “Participant Rights” will be maintained in the staff Policy and Procedures manual.


What am I allowed to have in the facility?

Participants may have seven pants, seven shirts, seven sets of underwear, three footwear, and one hat.  The clothing must not have any kind of drug/alcohol message or logo. Participants will provide their own hygiene items and other supplies.

What am I not allowed to bring into the facility?

No food or drinks can be brought into the facility, no personal pillow or mattress covers--(egg crates), no items valued at $100 or over

 The following items are not allowed on Reality House property:

 Sharp objects:  knives, scissors, razors, or any other object that can be deemed a weapon, guns or ammunition of any type, explosive liquids, gasses, solids (i.e., gasoline, fireworks, solvents, etc.) BIC lighter is okay, illegal drugs, alcohol, or any product that contains alcohol, drug paraphernalia (i.e., syringes, bongs, rolling papers, etc.), prescription drugs that are not on medication logs, dangerous chemicals (i.e., bleach, hair dye, vinegar, etc.), body building and/or diet drugs, pipes, rolling papers, snuff, and loose tobacco, books, magazines, photos, drawings etc. of nudity, crime, violence, alcohol, or drugs, racist or sexist materials, any electrical appliances (other than a clock or curling iron), any CD/tape player without headphones or larger than 12" on any side, cell phones, computers, pagers, cameras, or other electronic gadgets, sexual toys, aids, dolls, creams, etc. or any other items that might be seen as a danger to the individual, others, or facility.

Am I able to drive? If so what is the procedure?

Participants may be allowed to drive if approved by their Case Manager, referral agent, and they have completed a Request to Operate a Motor Vehicle form.  They must also have an ID sticker on the vehicle.

  •  Participants must show security staff a valid Missouri driver’s license, registration, & insurance and allow it to be copied for their file.
  •  Participants must show responsible behavior as demonstrated by file documentation.
  •  Review of traffic record by the referral agent may be required.
  •  Participant must surrender their license and any keys upon return to the facility each time they return.
  •  The parking lot is off limits to visitors of a participant who have not signed-in and visitors are not to leave their car unattended blocking the driveway.
  •  All cars are subject to search and will be searched at random times and dates.
  •  The parking lot at the North, West, and South may be used by participants.  Parking anywhere else is not allowed.
  • Any violation of the aforementioned may result in the loss of driving privileges.

For those who do not drive, Reality House Programs, Inc. van will make hourly trips to the bus stop during their hours of operation. Look on the city bus website and be familiar with the

Bus Schedules to see the current pick up and drop off times.

Am I able to work while being a resident?

Work Release, Diversion Court, Missouri Department of Corrections:

 Employment requirements for local and state programming are dependent on the referring agency or court.

Federal Offenders:

 All participants are expected to be employed full-time (or the equivalent) within 15 calendar days from completion of the facility orientation program (or be involved in other full-time equivalent, constructive pursuits such as furthering their education, etc.). Many offenders are not employment-ready.  Because many offenders have histories of addiction and criminal activities, their knowledge, skill and abilities may not be current enough to support immediate employment.  In these cases, other forms of community involvement may be helpful and realistic, such as a high school equivalency program, a remedial reading program, a position as a volunteer at a community agency involvement or in a vocational training program.     

The Reality House Federal Social Services Coordinator will organize and supervise the Federal participants’ employment assistance through the Job Center and Job Point in accordance with, but not limited to the following:

  •  Job/placement develop resources both in Reality House and in the community to include the Department of Labor (DOL) One Stop
  •  Employment information assistance using computer-based technology and resources which include career assistance software and on-line resources, i.e.,   Internet, such as America's Job Bank Note: The EPS will have direct access to the Internet to meet this requirement.  The EPS will not permit any participant to access the Internet without staff supervision while in the facility.  Internet use outside the facility requires CCM approval
  •  Portfolio development, resume writing, proper dress and interview techniques training
  •  Individual and group counseling, case management, and post-release follow-up relative to employment within the community, to include the area where the participant plans to live following release
  • Employment job fairs either on-site or in partnership with other

Can I receive mail?

• All RHP resident mail should be mailed to the following address:

 Reality House Programs, Inc

 P.O. Box 1507

 Columbia, MO 65205

 ATTN:  (resident’s name)

• Envelope must have return address

• All resident non legal mail will be opened under staff supervision

Newspapers will be delivered to the Reality house so offenders can read them.


What is the Policy on food services?

Participants may receive three meals per day while in the facility. If a participant is out of the facility during a meal period they may receive a sack lunch upon request.  

What is the procedure for laundry?

Each participant will be given a blanket, pillow, pillowcase, two sheets, two towels, and two washcloths.

 • Participants may use the staff supplied laundry soap until they have received a paycheck.

• Participants may not leave items unattended in the laundry room, unless items are in the machines and the machines are running.

• Participants must only do their weekly laundry according to the posted laundry schedule. Jail Inmates: Monday-Saturday 0700-0900; Women: Mon, Wed & Fri 1000-2300; Men: Tues, Thurs & Sat 1000-2300.

What medical care is available for me?

In an emergency, RHP will obtain the necessary emergency medical treatment required to preserve the participant's life.  In all case of “EMERGENCY,” RHP staff will contact 911.  Emergency medical service is available 24 hours a day at all three local hospitals.  Staff must reference Operations “Serious Injury, Illness, Or Death” for extreme medical situations.

RHP will provide participants an opportunity to access medical care and treatment.  Our intent is to assist the participant in maintaining the continuity of medical care and treatment in accordance with the participant’s needs.

 • RHP will provide on-site emergency first aid and crisis intervention to include a first aid kit, trained staff in basic first aid, and policy that outlines steps that employees take in case of an emergency. The contents of the first aid kit will meet and be maintained by the standards set by the American Red Cross.

• The Security Director will ensure each staff member is certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  In addition, RHP will provide that staffs are trained to respond to health-related situations to include universal precautions and suicide prevention.


Who will pay for my medical expenses?

All expenses for a participant's medical and dental care will be the responsibility of each participant.  These may be personally paid or paid by the participant's insurance.  Each participant must acknowledge such on the Participant Intake form.   If the participant has no resources, RHP will make every effort to secure no-cost treatment.  If no-cost treatment is not possible, RHP will contact the referral agent to determine if the participant should be transferred to a different facility.

What is the procedure on medications?

All prescription and over-the-counter medication must be turned in to RHP staff when entering the facility.  Participants must take medication as prescribed and ensure that they have refills.  All prescription medication must be prescribed in the participant’s name, must be in the original bottle, and must not be expired.

Participants must notify staff when they need to take their medication.  All medication dosing must be logged by the participant.

Prescribed and Obtained:  All prescription medication must be prescribed by a licensed physician and obtained from a licensed pharmacy.  Due to the nature of RHP programming, medications containing alcohol or narcotics must be avoided.  If a physician prescribes a mind or mood altering substance, the RHP Case Manager or Counselor must get a release from the participant to talk with the physician about prescribing something more appropriate for our participant.  Over-the-counter (OTC) medications must be factory sealed and must be on our approved list.

Approved OTC Medications:  Questions regarding medications should be referred to a Section Director.  Participants may have a Case Worker, family member, or other trusted person deliver medication to them while on “lockdown” at RHP.  However, all requirements for labeling (next paragraph) must be met.

Can I store my own medications?

No, medications will be stored in a plastic zip-lock bag in a pocket file folder in a locked medication file cabinet located inside the administrative area (not accessible to participants).  Each participant taking medication at RHP will have a medication file that is kept along with the medication.  The file will only contain the medication(s), Medication Administration Record sheet, Incident Report forms, Medication Disposal Form, and other information related to the participant’s medication.  When the participant is discharged, they must sign the log and the file will be included with the participant’s permanent RHP file. All medication (includes over-the-counter) must be logged on a Medication Administration Record sheet during intake or whenever a participant first brings it into the facility.  All medication must be properly labeled with drug name, strength, dispense date, amount dispensed, directions for use, expiration date, name of individual dispensed to, and doctor’s name who prescribed medication.

All medication (includes over-the-counter) must be logged on a Medication Administration Record sheet during intake or whenever a participant first brings it into the facility. All medication must be properly labeled with drug name, strength, dispense date, amount dispensed, directions for use, expiration date, name of individual dispensed to, and doctor’s name who prescribed medication

Am I allowed to smoke?

Smoking is not allowed inside the facility.  Hand rolled cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, and pipes are not allowed on RHP property.  All cigarette butts must be placed in the cigarette can or trash can.  Smoking is not allowed from midnight until 0600.  Participants on building or room restriction may smoke for ten minutes after meals and may smoke from 2350 until midnight.  Any outside smoking must occur at least 10 feet from the doorways.


Can I have visitors?


  • A participant must have an approved “Visitors List.”
  • A participant is limited to three visitors at a time.
  • Visitors must have a picture I.D.
  • Kissing and hugging are only allowed for a few seconds when starting and ending the visit.
  • Visitors may only drop off items during visiting hours.
  • Staff may terminate a visit at anytime and for any reason.
  • Review the posted visitation schedules for days and times (six hours per week for BOP & RPP)

Do I have access to clergy?

We have special visitation times set for clergy visits to offenders every Sunday. These are Non-Denominational services inmates have access to attending. The offender also has the option to have one on one studies with the approved clergy visitor. Approved Clergy must make an appointment with our human resource manager, 573- 449-8117 ext 222.

Clergy, like all our contact volunteer staff, must submit to a criminal history check and be approved. Clergy wishing to be placed on the approved list must contact the Human Resource Manager to participate in this process.

How can I receive money?

All money that the offenders have should be brought into the facility as a drop off by approved persons, mailed in or brought in and given to security as a drop off upon their return into the building. They may have no more than $100 except for BCJ (they are allowed no more than $25 in change on them at a time).



Confidentiality Regulations:  Federal confidentiality regulations require that participants receive a written summary of their rights.

  • During program in-processing, participants will review and sign a copy of “Participant Rights”.
  • A copy of “Participant Rights” will be posted on the staff bulletin board.

A copy of “Participant Rights” will be maintained in the staff

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