House arrest explained
For other uses see House arrest (disambiguation).
In justice and law, house arrest (also called home confinement, home detention, or electronic monitoring) is a measure by which a person is confined by the authorities to his or her residence. Travel is usually restricted, if allowed at all. House arrest is a lenient alternative to prison time or juvenile-detention time.
While house arrest can be applied to common criminal cases when prison does not seem an appropriate measure, the term is often applied to the use of house confinement as a measure of repression by authoritarian governments against political dissidents. In that case, typically, the person under house arrest does not have access to means of communication. If electronic communication is allowed, conversations will most likely be monitored. With certain units, the conversations of criminals can be monitored directly via the unit itself.
Home detention provides an alternative to imprisonment and aims to reduce re-offending while also coping with expanding prison numbers and rising costs. It allows eligible offenders to retain or seek employment, maintain family relationships and responsibilities and attend rehabilitative programs that contribute towards addressing the causes of their offending.
The terms of house arrest can differ, but offenders are rarely confined to their residence 24 hours a day. Most programs allow employed offenders to continue to work, and only confine them during non-working hours. Offenders are also commonly allowed to leave their homes for specific, pre-determined purposes. Examples can include visits to the probation officer or police station and medical appointments. Many programs also allow the convict to leave the residence during regular, pre-approved times in order to carry out general household errands such as food shopping and laundry.
In technologically advanced countries, house arrest is often enforced with the use of an electronic sensor locked to the offender's ankle (technically called an ankle monitor, commonly referred to as a tether.). If the subject and the sensor venture too far from the home, the violation is recorded and the proper authorities are summoned. The monitoring service is often contracted out to private companies, which assign employees to electronically monitor many convicts simultaneously. If the sensors detect a violation, the monitoring service calls the convict's probation officer. The electronic surveillance together with frequent contact with their probation officer and checks by the security guards provides for a secure environment. Electronic monitoring is considered a highly economical alternative to the cost of imprisoning offenders, especially considering that the convict is often required to pay for the monitoring as part of his sentence. To discourage tampering, many ankle monitors can now detect attempted removal.
Judges have imposed sentences of home confinement, as an alternative to parole, as far back as the 1900s. But it didn't become a widespread alternative to imprisonment until electronic monitoring devices made it inexpensive and easy to manage. The first-ever court sentence of house arrest with an electronic bracelet was in 1983.
- Aung San Suu Kyi, Pro-democracy activist, has been under house arrest for extended periods. She was placed under house arrest in July 1989 and was freed in July 1995. She is presently confined to her home in Rangoon yet again, under her 11th period of house arrest. Each of her eleven house arrests has been declared arbitrary by the UN's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
- Ne Win Former military commander of Burma. He was deposed in 1988 and put under house arrest in 2001.
- Pol Pot Former Premier of Cambodia. He was deposed when Vietnam attacked Cambodia in 1978.
- At sentencing the Judge can grant offenders who receive a short-term sentence (two years or less) leave to apply for home detention. This is called front-end home detention – i.e. it is applied for at the beginning of a sentence. If it is deferred by the Judge, an offender has two weeks to apply, during which time they will be granted bail. Offenders serving long-term sentences can apply for back-end home detention five months before their Parole Eligibility Date, though, if granted, they won’t be released until three months before their PED.
- Galileo Galilei was put under house arrest for his belief in Copernicus's theory of the sun in the middle of the universe and all the planets and stars revolving around it. He stayed under house arrest until 1642 when he died.
- Chia Thye Poh, former leftist Member of Parliament, was arrested without charges and held under detention without trial in 1966. 22 years later, he was released and placed under house arrest in a guardhouse on the resort island of Sentosa and made to pay the rent, on the pretext that he was now a "free" man.
- Former Premier Nikita Khrushchev was placed under house arrest for the seven years before his death after being deposed in 1964.
- Provision to detain terrorist suspects under house arrest without trial has been made possible by the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005; 10 men are currently (March 2005) under house arrest or other "Control Orders" under the Act.
- William Calley, U.S. Army officer responsible for the My Lai massacre, served 3½ years of house arrest after presidential clemency instead of his original sentence of life imprisonment.
- Riddick Bowe, a former boxing champion, was sentenced to be under brief house arrest after being released from prison.
- Lionel Tate was sentenced under one-year house arrest under the terms of the plea bargain offered in January 2004.
- Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months of house arrest following her release from prison on March 4, 2005.
- Debra Lafave, a former middle-school teacher, was sentenced to house arrest on November 22, 2005 for having sex with a 14-year-old pupil.
- Paris Hilton, an heiress and socialite, was re-assigned to house arrest on June 7, 2007, but was ordered back to prison on June 8, 2007 to serve the remainder of her 45-day sentence for violating probation from a prior DUI conviction.
- Dr Dre, one of the founding fathers of gangsta rap and former member of the influential hip-hop group NWA, was sentenced to a house arrest after breaking the jaw of a record producer. He told VH1's Behind the Music, "The walls started to cave in on me."
- T.I., an American rapper and co-CEO of Grand Hustle Records was sentenced to house arrest after gun charges.
- Michael Vick, Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, was "OK'd" for transition to home confinement from his federal incarceration on Feb 26, 2009
- Bernard Madoff after his Ponzi scheme was found out, and $50 billion dollars went missing.
- News: You're Grounded!How do you qualify for house arrest?. Slate Magazine. Juliet Lapidos. January 28, 2009.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4342717.stm BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Anti-terrorism law row rumbles on