What is Home Detention Bail?
This article deals with specifically with home detention bail in Western Australia, which is sometimes referred to as ‘house arrest’ or ‘home d’. This page is essentially a sub-article to main page on Bail Applications in Western Australia which contains more general information on bail and bail conditions.
Home detention bail is a condition of bail and is subject to the same tests and considerations as any other grant of bail. There is common misconception that home detention bail is a substitute for bail and is easier to obtain. This is incorrect.
Furthermore, home detention bail in Western Australia is not a sentencing option and therefore cannot be imposed as a punishment in lieu of a prison sentence.
Home detention bail is a condition that requires the accused person reside at and remain within a particular residential address 24/7.
The accused person is only allowed to leave the address for specified purposes such as attending court or medical appointments and only with the permission of their community correction officer. The accused person and the address are constantly monitored by the Department of Corrective Services through electronic monitoring. Electronic monitoring requires special equipment to be installed at the residential address and requires the accused to wear an ankle bracelet.
Home Detention Bail Assessment Report
Before home detention bail is considered by the court, a thorough assessment of the proposed address must be undertaken and a written report prepared for the court. This usually takes between 10 to 14 days. A community corrections officer will attend at the proposed address to conduct an assessment.
The assessment considers a number of factors including:
- The location of the address;
- How many people reside at the address;
- The background (including criminal records) of those people living at the address;
- Any evidence of criminal activity occurring at the address;
- The criminal history of the accused person including whether the accused has prior convictions for breach of bail or escaping lawful custody;
- The accused’s previous responses to supervision and compliance with court orders;
- The accused’s history of drug and alcohol use;
- Any medical requirements;
- The accused’s means of financial support whilst on home detention bail;
- The risk of re-offending by the accused;
- The risk posed by the accused person to others at the proposed addressed (i.e. children); and
- Whether the address is suitable for the electronic monitoring equipment.
The written home detention bail assessment report is provided to the relevant court and copies are made available to the prosecution and defence. The accused person remains in custody whilst the home detention bail assessment report is conducted.
The home detention bail assessment report is considered by the court, along with arguments from the prosecution and defence at a formal bail application. The accused person will either appear by video link from prison or be brought up to appear in person for the bail application.
Other Conditions of Home Detention Bail
When home detention bail is granted in Western Australia, it is usually accompanied by other conditions such as:
- A surety;
- A condition to present at the front door upon attendance by the police or community corrections;
- Not to consume alcohol or illegal drugs;
- Submit to random urinalysis when called upon;
- Obey all lawful directions of their Community Corrections Officer.
Home detention bail in WA does is not an exemption from the requirement to demonstrate “exceptional circumstances” when an accused person is caught by Schedule 2 of the Bail Act.
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