House Arrest Law & Legal Definition


Some courts may offer house arrest to certain less serious criminal offenders in an effort to conserve jail space, tax dollars, and other law enforcement resources. Under a house arrest program, the offender serves a jail sentence in their own resdience rather than in a jail cell. The person wears an electronic monitoring device around the ankle.

The device is linked by telephone lines to a central computer which emits a continuous signal. If this signal is interrupted by the offender going beyond the authorized radius of the receiver, the monitoring computer records the date and time of the signal’s disappearance and any reappearance. If the signal fails to be detected during a time when the person is required to be home, authorities are notified and a warrant may be issued for their arrest.