Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment whereby a person is confined to stay at an approved residence (usually their home) for the duration of the term of imprisonment. Offenders who are subject to home detention orders are strictly supervised and are subject to electronic monitoring.
Home detention orders are limited to a maximum period of 18 months, including any period of parole.
Steps involved before ordering a home detention order
As home detention is classified as a custodial sentence, before the Court can make an order for home detention, it must be satisfied that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate
The Court must then set a term for full-time custodial sentence, without having regard to the manner in which it is to be served. If this term is a term of 18 months or less, home detention may be considered. Usually, proceedings are adjourned for an assessment of whether you are suitable for a home detention order.
Suitability of the offender for a home detention order
An assessment of the offender’s suitability for home detention must take into account and address the following:
- the offence for which the offender is being sentenced. There are some offences which the law prescribes cannot be subject to a home detention order. These offences include murder, sexual assault, armed robbery, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and any offence involving a firearm.
- the criminal record of the offender. A home detention order may not be made for an offender who has at any time been convicted of any of the certain offences, including, murder, sexual assault or intimidating a person with the intention of causing the person to fear personal injury.
- the likelihood that the offender will re-offend.
- any dependency of the offender on illegal drugs.
- the likelihood that the offender will commit a domestic violence offence.
- whether any circumstances of the offender’s residence, employment, study or other activities would inhibit effective monitoring of a home detention order.
- whether the persons with whom it is likely the offender would reside, or continue or resume a relationship, understand the requirements of the order and are prepared to live in conformity with them, so far as may be necessary.
- whether the making of the order would place at risk of harm any person who would be living with, or in the vicinity, of the offender.
- any matter prescribed by the regulations.
Revocation of a home detention order
In a recent study it was reported that 79% (261 of 330) of offenders subject to a home detention order successfully completed the sentence without breach.
If you do breach a home detention order the Parole Board will decide whether to revoke the home detention order. If they do revoke the order it is likely that you will serve any un-served portion of the sentence in full time gaol.
Section 20AB of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) states that a home detention order may be made in respect of a person convicted of a federal offence.