What is Home Confinement?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2020
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Home confinement most commonly is known as house arrest. It generally requires a person to be confined to his home for a certain period of time. There are various terms and allowances that may be connected with such a measure, including restriction of visitors and permission to report to school.

There are numerous reasons that home confinement is used. It can be a measure to reduce the overcrowding in prisons. Also, it can be used as a means to control and monitor a person who has not yet been convicted of a crime. It can also be used as a lenient alternative punishment.

Both adults and juveniles can be subjected to home confinement. The measure often is seen as a better alternative for juveniles than youth detention centers or adult correctional facilities. It allows the child an opportunity to reside with a family. The child may be permitted to leave home to report to school. In many cases, however, some form of home-schooling program is set up.

Adults sometimes are allowed to report to work. The terms are similar to those that are used with work-release programs in correctional facilities. The person usually is not allowed to make any stops between work and home.


In many cases, the movement and whereabouts of a person ordered to home confinement are tracked by electronic monitoring systems. These systems often involve a device being placed around the ankle of a person. Normally, even if he is ordered to remain at home 24 hours per day, he is permitted to go outside.

The electronic monitoring device usually is very accurate. It will transmit a signal when a person moves beyond the allowed perimeter. In instances when a person is allowed to leave home for some reason, it easily can be determined if he is not back at the appropriate time. The device also will transmit a signal if it is removed or if removal is attempted.

Home confinement also can be regulated with a home telephone. There are automated calling services that will randomly call the home of a person to ensure his is there. In some cases, authority figures such as probation officers or guardian ad litems will make random calls themselves. This usually is done in cases that involve minor offenses.

In many cases, home confinement is not free. This is especially true when electronic monitoring is used. The person who is confined may be required to pay for the equipment and other associated fees.


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Post 3

Would you rather be in prison?

Post 2

I am on house arrest with no bracelet. Being a property owner and paying property taxes, why do I have to stay in my house 24 hours a day? I do not live in a town -- I live on back road. Why would I not be able to just stay on my property as I have animals and have to do property maintenance? I am on a disability so cannot afford to hire someone.

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