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Probation and Parole: Supervision - Home Detention

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House arrest, usually conjuring up images of political control and fascist repression, is court-ordered home detention in the United States, confining offenders to their households for the duration of the sentence. The sentence is usually in conjunction with probation, but may be imposed by the court as a separate punishment. Participants may be required to make victim compensation, perform community work service, pay probation fees, undergo drug and alcohol testing and, in some instances, wear electronic monitoring equipment to verify their presence in the residence. House arrest only allows the offender to leave her or his residence for specific purposes and hours approved by the court or supervising officer, and being absent without leave is a technical violation of conditions that may result in resentencing to jail or prison.

Home detention is a sentence that was designed in most cases to relieve institutional over-crowding. For many offenders it is their "last chance" to avoid being committed to jail or prison. The most significant critical argument against home detention is that many petty or low-risk offenders are brought under correctional control that would best be handled by diversion, fines, or other services or supervision. In general, such inclusive actions are viewed as "net widening," which occurs when offenders are sentenced to community control that might otherwise have received a lesser or even no sentence.

Probation and Parole: Supervision - Electronic Monitoring [next] [back] Probation and Parole: Supervision - Day Reporting Centers

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