Electronic Home Monitoring

Law-enforcement officers in different parts of the U.S. use electronic home monitoring to affect house arrests. For example, electronic home monitoring in Seattle and  Washington are common, where the courts usually use the programs in DUI cases.

A court may impose the procedure in order to release a defendant whose criminal case is still pending. The defendant will be committed to house arrest before the case ends. However, this is normally applied only in extreme cases where the defendants have prior histories of DUI cases. For DUI offenders appearing for the second or third time, house arrest is mandatory.

The Basics of House Arrest

House arrests restrict defendants to their homes although they are allowed to go to work or attend such special functions such as medical appointments. Law enforcement officers apply electronic home monitoring whereby the defendants must always wear monitoring ankle bracelets.

Receiving devices are installed in the defendants’ homes, which communicate with the bracelets. The devices, which the homeowners cannot move, have limited receiving ranges. If the ankle bracelets move out of receiving range, the devices automatically send reports to monitoring stations. They will also transmit immediate reports when they detect any tampering attempts.

At the monitoring station, all activities of the receiving devices are recorded and any suspicious behavior is reported to the concerned criminal courts.

Some electronic home monitoring devices include breath-test accessories where the defendants must provide breath samples whenever they return from work. The monitoring device will send a report if it detects alcohol. Such a report can easily aggravate matters before either an arraignment or a sentencing judge.

The Advantages of House Arrest

Electronic home monitoring programs have several advantages to the defendants, law enforcers and the public at large. The benefits include:

• Providing an alternative to confinement in jail.

• Encouraging compliance with the restrictions of the law courts.

• Ensuring public safety by monitoring dangerous criminals or alcohol consumption of defendants.