Intermediate Sanctions

 Home confinement, also known as house arrest, is a type of program where the activities of the offender in the community are restricted. This restriction is aimed at protecting the society from the harms of these offenders (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2000). This type of intermediate sanction allows the offender to remain in his/her home and carry out their normal daily routines. The daily activities of the offender are closely monitored, and this monitoring can be done through electronic means or through frequent contact by the correctional officers. Electronic monitoring is mainly used as a supervisory tool. This helps the officers monitor the activities of the offender more effectively. The offenders are usually required to adhere to a strict schedule of activities. Under the home confinement, there are two main types of programs. First, there are the pretrial programs which use home confinement as an alternative form of detention before the individuals are taken to court. Secondly, there are post adjudication programs which use home confinement as an alternative to incarceration (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2000).
This program was initially intended to serve as an alternative to sentencing for drunken driving offenders, but has expanded to include other offenders as well. Generally home confinement mainly excludes offenders of serious and violent crimes. The level of supervision or restriction given depends on the type of the offender. These restrictions may be simple curfews or may be as severe as lock-downs. There are three main levels of restrictions: curfews, home detention and home incarceration. When it comes to curfews, the participants of this program are required to be at home every day at specific times (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2000). Home detention requires that the participant remains in his home throughout except for specific approved times. Finally, home incarceration is when the offender is put under complete lock-down, expect for specific activities approved by the court. Home confinement may be used by the courts as a sanction for people who go against the regulations of their supervision. The purpose of home confinement depends on the stage of the criminal justice process in which it is applied (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2000). Regardless of the stage however, it is mainly used as a means of protecting the public.
In order to determine eligibility for the program, the officers consider factors such as criminal records, mental conditions and the history of violence of the offender. In addition, factors such as the willingness to participate, risk to society and the history of failures on supervision may also be considered (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2000). Participants who fully comply with the rules of the program may be allowed to use to earned leave. This is a privilege that allows the offenders to engage in recreational activities away from home for a specific period. However, participants who fail to comply with the requirements of the programs may be subjected to various sanctions including reprimand and losing earned leave privileges.
Home confinement has been found to be beneficial since it allows the offenders to continue to contribute to the society, support their families and pay taxes. This helps to eliminate the costs associated with incarceration and at the same time ensure that the offenders continue to contribute to the economy through payment of taxes. In addition, since the offenders are subjected to various restrictions and are closely monitored, the program helps to deter further crime.
Reference
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (2000). Home Confinement. Court&amp. Community Information Series. Retrieved from http://www.nhp.uscourts.gov/pdf/cchome.pdf