A home detention order is offered as a substitute to a custodial sentence for eligible offenders who have been found guilty of an offence for which the most appropriate sentence is a term in prison.
Serving a sentence at home can be an appealing alternative to spending time in prison, and in some cases can allow offenders to continue working and participating in everyday family life. Home detention orders in NSW are subject to a number of conditions, however, which vary depending on the individual circumstances and details of the particular offence.
There are some standard conditions which usually accompany a home detention order, and these include:
- Residing at a certain specified address for the duration of the sentence.
- Consenting to wear an electronic monitoring device and refrain from tampering with it in any way.
- Abstaining from prohibited drugs or alcohol for the term of the home detention order.
- Refraining from committing any illegal offence, and if an offence is committed, notifying the supervisor as soon as possible.
- Reporting regularly to a nominated supervisor and following their directions (as long as they are reasonable).
- Leaving the residence only to take part in approved activities such as community service or employment.
- Consenting to employers having contact with a nominated supervisor and sharing information.
- Agreeing to searches of property and possessions when requested, including computers.
- Avoiding associating with certain people as specified by the order or the nominated supervisor.
- Agreeing to undertake any rehabilitation or counselling programs as directed by a supervisor.
- Consenting to therapists or medical professionals sharing information with the supervisor.
- Submitting to drug or alcohol testing on request. This can be done through breath testing, blood and urine tests.
Home detention orders in NSW can be tailored to relate more specifically to the offender’s circumstances, and the nature of the offence.
Before a home detention order can go ahead, the offender has to sign an agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of the home detention order.
In addition, anyone else who resides at their nominated address also has to sign that they consent to the offender residing there for the duration of the order.
It is important that offenders understand the terms of their home detention order as a breach of the order can lead to the order being revoked.
A revocation of the order may require the offender to serve the rest of their home detention in custodial prison.
Other situations in which a home detention order can be revoked include where the person with whom the offender is residing withdraws their consent, and situations where the offender themselves applies for the order to be revoked.
Not everyone is eligible for home detention.
Certain offences or a history of committing certain offences can rule out the possibility of home detention. These offences include firearms offences, sexual offences, murder, and manslaughter.
Additional considerations include whether there has been an AVO or any history of domestic violence by the offender against someone they would be living with during the course of the home detention order.
To find out more about how to apply for a home detention order, or what happens if the terms are breached, contact an experienced criminal lawyer.