House arrest is a type of restrictive supervision used in the criminal justice system in a number of situations. House arrest (also known as home detention) is used for some defendants awaiting trial. It also is used in sentencing following a conviction and for some offenders on parole or probation.
There are a number of primary considerations when assigning a person to house arrest. First, house arrest normally is not used in a case involving a violent crime. Second, a person on house arrest normally has ties to the community and gainful employment.
Typically a person on home detention is subject to electronic monitoring. In most cases this is accomplished through a device attached to a telephone and an ankle bracelet.
Schedules associated with house arrest require an offender to be at home except when at work, in court, meeting with his attorney, or at other narrowly approved activities away from the residence.
By imposing the standard requirements of house arrest on an offender, he is able to stay in the community as opposed to being incarcerated. The community enjoys added protection because an offender in the community is monitored.
The most common misconception about requirements of house arrest is that an offender is unable to leave his residence at all. Although there are significant limitations and restrictions on movement, an offender is not exclusively confined at home.
Two famous people who served time on house arrest are domestic maven Martha Stewart and the creator of the largest Ponzi scheme of all time, Bernie Madoff.