How Do I Find Out What Someone's House Arrest Dates Are?

By Aaron Gifford
With electronic home monitoring devices, probation departments can allow some convicted criminals to serve their sentence at home.

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If someone is under house arrest, that means they have been sentenced to wear an electronic home monitoring device, commonly called an ankle bracelet, under the supervision of the local probation department. According to the Florida State University Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, the number of convicted criminal who have been placed under house arrest for at least one day since 2000 exceeds 30,000. You can use public records to locate the term of someone's house arrest but you won't get that information from the probation department.

Compile the facts about the person or situation that you already know. This would include the name of someone who was arrested and possibly sentenced to probation. Include addresses and estimated dates for arrests and court appearances. Police agencies can fill in the gaps by providing incident or arrest reports if you ask them to search by name. Those reports should note which court handled the suspect's case. You can also ask police departments if they have a roster of those who are currently on probation in their jurisdiction or district.

Check the state corrections department or commission of correction website for inmate search functions, which are fairly common across the country. Search by name, date of conviction and the name of the city, town or county of conviction. The search function will not retrieve details of a person's parole or probation conditions after they complete their prison sentence but it will say if parole or probation terms are included in the sentence.

Visit the county or district criminal court clerk's office. Show her the information you have compiled so far. Because the effectiveness of home electronic monitoring is still being evaluated nationwide, the state Division of Criminal Justice Services may require the court to maintain a roster of convicted criminals who have been sentenced to that program. If not, ask for individual court files. Judges determine probation sentences so the house arrest dates should be included in the files. Either way, court records are public documents.

About the Author

Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.

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