What is Home Detention?
Spartanburg County, as most counties in South Carolina, utilizes a home detention or “house arrest” program to individuals charged with a crime as a condition of bond while awaiting trial. Once approval has been granted by the court, the jail staff will then further screen the candidate as to the program’s eligibility to include but not be limited to the following:
- Court approval
- Satisfactory background check
- Stable, permanent residence inside Spartanburg County
- Current, structured job with proof of employment and verification of employer’s approval
- Telephone land line or Ethernet internet connectivity for SCRAM. Telephone land line or mobile (Cellular phone) phone service for GPS and RF monitoring.
- Approval of co-residents
- Willingness to absorb costs of program and monitoring services
- Other restrictions as applicable
House arrest, sometimes referred to as home confinement, home detention, or electronic monitoring, is also type of alternative sentencing. Alternative sentencing offers a convicted criminal with alternatives to a jail or prison sentence.
Although home detention can completely confine you to your residence, that isn’t always the case. When the judge orders you to house arrest, there are specific guidelines that limit your freedom and mobility.
Home detention conditions of release or sentence:
- Curfew restrictions,
- Random drug testing, and/or
- In-office face-to-face meetings or home visits with your probation officer.
- Permission to go to work or attend school,
- Permission to travel to medical appointments,
- Permission to attend and participate in counseling appointments, AA, NA, drug and alcohol counseling, church, community service, etc., and
- Permission to participate in any other court-approved activities,
How Can the Courts Monitor Your Home Detention?
House arrest is monitored through electronic monitoring and is administered in a number of ways:
Basic electronic transmission – You will be fitted with an ankle transmitter and a home monitoring unit. The bracelet sends a 24-hour signal to the monitoring agency and accounts for any abnormalities. Irregularities can include tampering with the instrument, breaking your curfew, or traveling outside your authorized radius. This type of system can be set up as long as you have a power outlet and access to a standard phone line.
Global Positioning System (GPS) – GPS is the most sophisticated of the home detention devices. It uses commercial cellular networks to transmit data 24-hours a day to the monitoring agency. GPS tracking allows the supervising agency to create specific inclusion and exclusion zones, mapping, and tracking. The agency knows exactly where you are at all times.
SCRAM – Continuous alcohol monitoring. You ABSOLUTELY CANNOT DRINK ALCOHOL. This unit is attached and continuously monitors your sweat every thirty minutes.
Does pre-conviction home detention matter to my sentence?
Possibly. South Carolina law 23-13-40 states that time spent, prior to trial and sentencing, under electronic monitoring or house arrest, may be credited towards sentencing in the sentencing judge’s discretion.
How much does it cost?
- Base transmission costs $270 upfront and $49 per week
- GPS – $290 upfront costs and $69 per week
- SCRAM – $330 upfront costs and $77 per week or $80.50 using Ethernet internet connection.
What if I fail to comply with conditions of home detention?
At any time during this period, should the you violate the program’s rules or become non-compliant the home detention deputy will pick you up and return you back to the custody of the jail to complete your sentence or in the case of a bond the offender will be taken back before the court to determine what action the Judge wishes to take.