Term of the Day
Electronic Home Monitoring
Definition - What does Electronic Home Monitoring mean?
Electronic home monitoring (also known as home arrest, house arrest, home confinement, or home detention) is a requirement for an individual to remain in a certain location as enforced by authorities or the criminal justice system. Electronic home monitoring is an alternative sentence given to a person as opposed to time in a prison or juvenile detention center.
In some cases, a judge might rule that electronic home monitoring is a more appropriate punishment in a criminal case as opposed to prison time. While this type of punishment might be enough to discourage the individual from breaking the law again in the future, it is also an alternative in preventing higher inmate numbers and rising prison costs.
While electronic home monitoring is most popularly enforced on the average American adult or juvenile, other similar incidences in history include with large political figures, people with money or power, or people with significant influence.
Restrictions and Terms of Electronic Home Monitoring
The severity of the offense and what the court orders in the case always determines the conditions of an individual's sentence. Some people under the supervision of electronic home monitoring are allowed to leave their residences to work, to visit their probation officer or police station, attend medical appointments or places of religion. In other cases, a judge might allow the individual to leave their house to perform errands such as grocery shopping or laundry. Regular phone check ins are also necessary at times to ensure the offender is where they are allowed to be in certain circumstances.
Technology and Enforcement
Depending on the circumstance, the individual's ability to travel is either strictly limited or not allowed at all. In most countries, law enforcement can monitor the individual's whereabouts electronically via a GPS tracking device strapped around the offender's ankle. If the individual ventures off outside the allowed perimiters the judge outlined during sentencing, they risk arrest and losing any other home arrest privileges. For most ankle monitoring systems today, the technology has also advanced to include detection if the individual tampers with or tries to remove the tracking device. Doing so may also put the individual at risk for arrest or loss of privileges as well.