Electronic Monitoring of Offenders
House arrest or house detention under electronic monitoring is a substitute for imprisonment, whereby electronic means are used to monitor the presence of detainees (in this case, arrested persons freed on bail or conditionally released prisoners), in their home or other designated place of custody during the specified times. The electronic apparatus emits a warning in real time/ in any case where detainees leave the permitted premises beyond what is permitted them within the terms of their house arrest.
Several variants on the system are in use around the world, but the operational principles are the same: the detainee has an electronic bracelet fitted with a transmitter attached to his wrist or ankle. The transmitter emits regular signals to a receiver installed in the designated premises, which in turn transmits a signal via the telephone lines to an external control center. Should the receiver detect a halt to the signal or a signal signifying a fault in the system or detect a violation of the terms of the house custody, it will at once transmit a warning to the control center.
The system allows the terms of custody to be ‘tailored’ to each individual detainee, in accordance with their personal characteristics, the offense committed, their rehabilitatory needs, the rehabilitation program designed for them, and so on. For instance, it allows a detainee to go out to work or study, to leave the designated premises for medical care or therapy, etc.
- To bring partial relief to the problem of overcrowding in prisons and police detention cells
- To reduce the damage done by detention and imprisonment
- To allow the detainee to remain in touch with his community
- To save public money
- To reduce the direct harm to the individual caused by social stigma
- To allow the detainee to maintain, as far as possible, a ‘normal’ lifestyle within his own family and familiar surroundings, and within the terms of custody designated for him
To Whom Will the Project Apply?
Originally, the idea of house arrest or house detention under electronic monitoring was developed for offenders sentenced by the court to serve their sentences in the community. Since in Israel this form of use requires amending existing legislation, the system is being applied in the interim to two populations where no legislative amendment is required: arrested individuals released on bail until the completion of proceedings against them, and conditionally released prisoners.