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When Does A Maryland Inmate Get To “Come Home On The Box”?

An inmate, incarcerated and serving a sentence in custodial confinement, may be eligible for home detention for the balance of the sentence, if certain criteria are met. The concept, perhaps historically understood as “house arrest”, and currently referred to as “home detention”  is colloquially referred to as ‘coming home on the box’ by many. Initially, the Department of Corrections must determine the offender poses a minimum risk to the public if released, based on their background and “institutional adjustment”. [COMAR 12.02.26.01] 

If considered a candidate for home detention, and the initial threshold is met, other additional requirements must be present. The offender must be “within 18 months of a: 

  • Mutual agreement programming release date, 
  • Delayed parole release date, or 
  • Mandatory supervision release date". 

Not everyone is eligible for home detention. The following offenders will not be approved for home detention. 

  • Anyone serving a life sentence. 
  • Any offender serving a sentence for a crime of violence, or previously convicted of a crime violence within the last five years [unless that  inmate is within 90 days of release on parole expiration or mandatory supervision] 
  • Any person convicted of child abuse or escape. 
  • Any inmate with an active “hold”/detainer [except for minor traffic and civil offenses]. 
  • Any inmate in maximum or super maximum security. 

The eligible offender must be able to meet the other requirements of the program including an approved “home’ in which to be confined, and appropriate telephone services. Moreover, to be considered for home detention, the inmate must have an acceptable recent prison disciplinary record, have waived extradition, agreed to accept employment, and be able meet the financial obligations of the program.  

Once the baseline eligibility requirements have been met, there are generally additional requirements. “[B]efore becoming eligible for home detention placement…[a]n inmate may be required to participate in a program in the following areas: 

  • Substance abuse treatment 
  • Employment readiness training 
  • Any other specified program” 

     Source: COMAR 12.02.26.05