Term of the Day

Sobriety Checkpoints

Sobriety Checkpoints are locations along a roadway where police officers will request vehicles to momentarily to stop in order to check each driver for signs of intoxication or impairment.

Home Arrest

Definition - What does Home Arrest mean?

Home arrest (also known as house arrest, home confinement, home detention, or electronic monitoring) is a requirement for an individual to remain in a certain location as enforced by authorities or the criminal justice system. Home arrest 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 home arrest is a more appropriate punishment in a criminal case as opposed to prison time. While home arrest 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 home arrests are most popularly enforced on the average American adult or juvenile, other incidences of home arrests in history include with large political figures, people with money or power, or people with significant influence.

Restrictions and Terms of Home Arrest

The severity of the offense and what the court orders in the case always determines the conditions of an individual's home arrest sentence. Some people under home arrest 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 someone under home arrest 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.


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