Home detention is now a legitimate sentencing option, since recent amendments were made by South Australian Parliament to the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988. Before 1 September 2016, home detention was only available to people applying for release on bail, or as an early release option if you were in prison. Now, if you are being sentenced for a criminal offence, the court can order that you serve a term of imprisonment by remaining in the community under home detention conditions.
If you are subject to a home detention order, it means that you may not have to serve any time in prison, but are instead subject to strict conditions by the court and confined to your home. These conditions can still allow for you to go to work, attend university or TAFE, or leave your address for another purpose. However, you must be given permission (eg. a leave pass from the Department of Corrections) to leave your address, and only travel to and from the location that you have been given permission to go to.
What Does the Court Require?
A home detention order cannot be imposed, unless the court considers that you should serve a term of imprisonment, and that this term of imprisonment should not be suspended.
The overarching consideration for the court, when determining if someone is eligible for home detention, is the safety of the community.
Beyond this, the court must be satisfied that:
- You are a suitable person to serve your sentence on home detention;
- The address where you want to reside is suitable, and available to you, for home detention;
- That you or someone else can properly support and care for you whilst you are on home detention; and
- There are adequate resources for you to be monitored by the Department of Corrections.
The court must consider the impact that you being on home detention will have on any victim of the offence, your partner/spouse, or anyone else residing at the address that you will be serving home detention at.
The court also has the power to make enquiries and order reports to determine whether you will be granted a home detention sentence.
If you are charged with a criminal offence and are wondering whether a home detention order may be possible to receive as a sentence in your matter, or have questions about what sort of conditions you might be subject to, contact one of our expert criminal lawyers today on 8342 4400.
For further information, you can find the new laws under Part 3, Division 3A of the Criminal Law Sentencing Act 1988 (SA) here.