Portage House

  • Established: August 1973
  • Occupancy: Twelve adult males, on supervision with the Department of Corrections
  • Primary funding: The Wisconsin Department of Corrections
  • Staff: Director, Program Assistant, two Counselors, and two Night Security staff. We also employ Relief staff and interns.
  • Types of clients: On adult supervision. Most residents have committed crimes such as burglary, theft, drug offenses, forgery, and bad checks; other typical crimes are OMVWOC, battery, domestic abuse, and sex offenses.

Program Information

The Community and Residential Program (CRP) provides group and individual services intended to address problems with substance abuse, anger management, interpersonal communication, childhood trauma, living skills, and other areas that may contribute to ongoing involvement with the legal system. Program participants are also assigned a mentor, who will support them in setting realistic goals and in their efforts to achieve them. A typical length of stay is 90 to 120 days.

Program Services

CRP programs are developed through Portage County with the assistance of the Department of Corrections. The Community Corrections Agent who is assigned your case may direct you toward certain areas of programming. Your areas of highest risk (for re-offending), your areas of need, the rules established for your community supervision, and your personal decisions will all have some effect on the types of programs you are referred to, and what benefit you get out of them.

Service Provision

Most program services are provided at Portage House or in the area near the Courthouse and Law Enforcement Center. A case manager from Portage House will refer you to programs, review your program schedule and attendance, and address any problems that come up during the course of program involvement. The case manager will also maintain regular contact with your Community Corrections Agent, your mentor, and program providers.

Services Provided

  • Room and board
  • 24-hour supervision
  • Assistance with job and school placements
  • Training in independent living
  • Health assessments
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Recreation and community activities
  • Information and referral

Independent living skills are taught on an ongoing basis at Portage House. Areas covered include budgeting skills, meal preparation, personal hygiene, assertiveness, communication skills, and problem-solving. Staff provides information and referral regarding mental and physical health issues, parenting skills, and recreation. Residents participate in regular groups focusing on anger management, AODA, and cognitive-behavioral programming.

What is Expected of Clients

  • Put forth effort into program activities
  • Be honest with yourself and others
  • Commitment to sobriety
  • No violence or threats of violence

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

What is PREA?

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 is a federal law established to address the problem of sexual abuse of persons in the custody of U.S. correctional agencies. PREA applies to all correctional facilities, public and private, including prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, military and Indian country facilities, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities.

PREA incidents involve these types of conduct:

  • Resident-on-resident sexual abuse
  • Resident-on-resident abusive sexual contact
  • Staff sexual misconduct
  • Staff sexual harassment of a resident

Portage House has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual abuse and sexual harassment of our halfway houses residents.