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How Does Some Arrested Get To “Come Home On The Box” In Baltimore, MD?

One arrested and held in custody pending trial may be eligible to serve some of their pretrial detention on home monitoring/detention. The concept, perhaps historically understood as “house arrest”  is colloquially referred to as ‘coming home on the box’ by many. Technically, "electronic supervision means monitoring of an inmate's location or whereabouts through the use of devices that combine telephone contact and the reception of a signal from a monitoring device worn by the inmate”.

- Source COMAR 12.02.26.05 

Not everyone arrested in Baltimore and charged with a crime is eligible for pretrial home detention. To quality, a detainee must show: 

  • They are not awaiting trial for a crime of violence, and three years have elapsed since the expiration of a sentence for any prior crime of violence.  
  • They have an approved home in which to be confined 
  • They have not been convicted of child abuse, or sexual offenses related to minor
  • They have no history of escape going back 10 years. 

-Source: COMAR 12.16.01.04 

If approved for home confinement, the arrestee/detainee is subject to significant restrictions on their freedom of movement, and other stringent rules of the program. Some of these restrictions are commonsense, and are of a type to be expected  for one charged with a crime. Others may be surprising. Minimally, ” [t]he inmate shall be required to submit to electronic supervision which includes telephone contact and reception of a signal from a monitoring device worn by the inmate.” 

-Source: COMAR12.02.26.09 

Once approved, a detainee is course required to obey all local, state and federal laws, and any lawful command of the program.  There of course if a lengthy list of reasons to be removed from home confinement, and detained in the appropriate institution.

Reasons for removal include: 

  • Failing to remain at an approved residence, except for: 
  • “Work during preapproved hours 
  • An approved visit to the unit offices 
  • A prearranged and approved visit to a treatment site  An emergency which is life-threatening to the inmate or another member of the household 
  • As directed by the administrator.” 
  • Possession or use of a firearm or weapon, alcohol or drugs. 
  • Failing to maintain phone service, and limit phone calls to the place of detention.  

The above requirements are logical on their face, and likely would not come as a surprise to anyone contemplating home detention. Other requirement for program participation may not seem as obvious. 

  • Participants may be searched on demand, subject to urinalysis, and must allow supervisors to enter the place of home detention.

  • Participants cannot enter any premises, including a private party, where alcohol is dispensed 

  • Participants may be required to have a job, and cannot change the job without approval. If a job is lost, it may result in program removal.  

  • Participants cannot apply for benefits from a private or governmental agency or credit provider 

  • Participants cannot “associate with an individual whom the inmate should reasonably know has a criminal record” 

  • A participant may not visit a correctional facility without permission 

  • A participant cannot operate a car without permission. 

-Source: COMAR 12.02.26.08 

Eric T Kirk
Attorney

After graduating with honors from Albany Law School in New York, Eric Kirk has spent most of his 25 year legal career battling insurance companies to secure fair and just compensation for his clients in Maryland, New York, and Florida.

410-657-5962