House Arrest

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House Arrest

Confinement to one's home or another specified location instead of incarceration in a jail or prison.

House arrest has been used since ancient times as an alternative to criminal imprisonment, often imposed upon people who either were too powerful or too influential to be placed in an actual prison. Hereditary rulers, religious leaders, and political figures, whose imprisonment might spur a revolt by loyalists, would be confined to their homes where they could live comfortably and safely but without any influence. House arrest does not always lessen its victims' influence, however. Aung San Suu Kyi, a political leader from Myanmar, was placed under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, and again, from 2000 to 2002, by the nation's military junta. On both occasions the international community successfully exerted pressure on the government to release Suu Kyi, a peace activist and Nobel laureate.

The term house arrest can also refer to electronic monitoring programs in which a convicted criminal is sentenced to home confinement instead of prison, for a specified period. The criminal wears an electronic ankle bracelet (for which he usually bears maintenance costs) that monitors movement and sends a signal to a central computer if the house arrest is violated. Examples of crimes that could warrant house arrest include white-collar crimes such as Fraud or Embezzlement. This type of sentence can be a cost-effective way of punishing criminals who pose no threat to others and thus do not need to be imprisoned at the state's expense.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He added that, over the last 13 months, 42 of 1349 prisoners released on home detention had been allowed to go to England and that, in that period, eight who had absconded had been returned to custody.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Thomas Ingram warned Rudd that he would go to prison if he breached the terms of his home detention, which banned him from taking any nonprescription drugs and subjected him to monitoring.
Probation, furlough, pre-adjudicatory detention, and post-trial incarceration are occasions where electronic home detention may be appropriate.
The rest have finished their sentences, been released on licence, or granted home detention.
The accommodation is also available to those offenders who could be released on Home Detention Curfew, but are not due to the lack of suitable accommodation.
Snipes' lawyers had spent much of the day in court in Ocala, Florida, offering dozens of letters attesting to his good character from family members, friends and even fellow-actors Woody Harrelson and Denzel Washington - His attorneys recommended he be given home detention and ordered to make public service announcements because his three convictions were all misdemeanours and the actor had no previous criminal record.
-- Tom Coughlin, the former Wal-Mart executive who was sentenced to home detention in a fraud case, must be sentenced again, an appeals court ruled yesterday.
A further 57 are being supervised as under home detention curfew arrangements, the figures show.
There have been four manslaughters, one murder, 56 woundings and more than 700 assaults since Home Detention Curfew came into force in 1999.
According to The Associated Press he will spend the first three months of his probation in home detention and will not be allowed to fly during the three years.
A Home Office spokeswoman last night said only four per cent of freed prisoners reoffend under Home Detention Curfews.