8.7. House Arrest

David Carter and Kate McLean

House arrest is where an individual is remanded to stay at home for confinement, in lieu of jail or prison. While there are typically standard provisions permitting individuals to attend places of worship and places of employment, individuals are otherwise expected to be home. It is difficult to assess how many offenders are on house arrest at any given time, as these are often short stints given during early stages of probation.

House Arrest Success

As mentioned previously, house arrest is often joined with electronic monitoring (EM). For this reason, studies that seek to evaluate house arrest simultaneously account for the effects of EM; in other words, there is little research on the independent effects of each of these interventions. However, it is certainly a cost saving mechanism, over other forms of sanctions. There is a relatively no-cost to low-cost for house arrest, not coupled with electronic monitoring, especially when comparing house arrest to intensive supervised probation. In all, house arrest would probably best serve individuals with low criminogenic risks and needs. However, it is also argued that those individuals need little sanctions already, in order to be successful. Thus, the utility of house arrest is debatable.


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Introduction to the U.S. Criminal Justice System Copyright © 2019 by David Carter and Kate McLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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