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Home detention and post detention conditions

Home detention is both a punitive and rehabilitation sentence. It requires an offender to remain at a suitable and approved residence at all times and be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Offenders on home detention must also complete programmes designed to address the causes of their offending.

The sentence can address both the rehabilitation and re-integration needs of an offender, while placing restrictions on them such as being confined to a specific location, and special conditions such as electronic monitoring.

Home detention allows an offender to seek or maintain employment, complete a sentence of community work if imposed, access programmes to address their offending and maintain their family relationships.

Offenders can be sentenced to home detention from 14 days to one year.

How home detention works

Home detention is an alternative to imprisonment and is intended for offenders who otherwise would have received a short prison sentence (of two years or less) for their offending.

Only sentencing judges can impose home detention. They must take into consideration advice provided by a probation officer who has assessed the offender, and the home address and any people who live there.

Conditions offenders must follow

Offenders who receive a home detention sentence are subject to standard and special conditions.

Electronic monitoring equipment is installed at the offender’s address and their compliance monitored for the length of the sentence.

People who are on home detention may also be required to:

  • pay a fine
  • pay reparation to their victim/s
  • do community work.

Absences

Offenders must apply to their probation officer if they need to be absent from their home detention address. Their probation officer will decide whether to approve the request.

A probation officer may approve an offender’s absence from their detention address so they can go to: work, study, rehabilitation programmes, the doctor, and appointments with other agencies. All absences from the address are monitored by alternative means – such as verification from the offender’s sponsor or checking on appointments.

Post-detention conditions

Post-detention conditions are applied after an offender has completed home detention to provide the offender with additional supervision and support their rehabilitation needs and transition back into society. The conditions could include requirements like having a curfew and completing community work.

Holding offenders to account

If an offender doesn’t follow the rules we call this non-compliance and treat it very seriously. It might mean an offender gets:

  • an internal sanction, for example a warning or increasing reporting requirements
  • a formal breach action which may result in a further conviction, another sentence, such as community work, a fine, or imprisonment.
  • an application to the court to cancel the sentence and replace it with a more restrictive sentence.