Intermediate Community Sanction: Home Confinement and Electronic Monitoring

Intermediate Community Sanction: Home Confinement and Electronic Monitoring

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Punishment has evolved from the days of waiting to be hung to the sophisticated prison systems of today. However prisons in the United States are crowded and costly and they are not always appropriate for all offenders, especially those that have committed minor offenses. In the last couple of decades new methods of punishment has been developed for the minor offender. These fall under the category of intermediate community sanction and consist of electronic monitoring and home confinement. These punishments have proven very useful in dealing with minor offenders, pretrial confinement and others in need of supervision. They seem to be effective and help to transfer some of the cost of prison back to the offender.
At one time a criminal was either sentenced to death or sent to the pillory located in the center of town for all to see. Being pilloried was an early version of what is known as a shaming penalty. Shaming penalties have evolved and have become more humane. Some examples of present day shaming penalties are community service, home confinement electronic monitoring. Prison is also a form of shame because everything you do can be seen by others. However with home confinement, electronic monitoring and community service you have some privacy. Home confinement is “a tool that helps U.S. probation and pretrial services officers supervise, or monitor, defendants and offenders in the community (Home Confinement, pg 1)”. In a pretrial case “home confinement is an alternative to detention used to ensure that defendants appear in court”. However “in post-sentence cases, home confinement is used as a punishment, viewed as more punitive than regular supervision but less restrictive than imprisonment” (Uscourts, Home Confinement, pg...


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...ant and whenever you want, whereas in prison you are limited to the amount of showers and there is a certain time when you all can go to the shower. One other thing that is great about home confinement is that you have access to food that doesn’t look appalling.
In the future Home confinement and electronic monitoring show know signs of being removed. The only thing that will change is the method because as technology advances we will find new ways to monitor offenders and not just for the bad but for good things that they do. As we progress with technology we might eventually not need to put a receiver in the house but a small sensor can be place throughout the house and parole officers won’t have to go to the house and use the “drive-by” device, instead they will be able to see if the sensors have been tampered with or the wrist/ankle bracelet from their office.

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