We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Fewer felons are bunking at District halfway houses these days, and Charles Reynolds, president of Washington Halfway Homes, blames the Enron scandal. In December, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft cracked down on corporate criminals by mandating that felons, including white-collar offenders, spend less time in halfway houses and more time in prison. Ashcroft further ordered that federal inmates—including all D.C. felons—can’t go to halfway houses until they are down to 10 percent of their sentence, not to exceed six months. That’s ruining business, Reynolds complains. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Tracy Billingsley confirms the trend: “The [Justice Department] directive has impacted the number of halfway-house beds…that are filled.” The population of Washington Halfway Homes, which serves women, is down by 50 percent, and Reynolds has temporarily shut one of its two for-profit facilities. At Hope Village, the city’s largest halfway house for men, two of six buildings also sit empty. —Annys Shin