Skip to main content
Select Source:

House Arrest

HOUSE ARREST

Confinement to one's home or another specified location instead of incarceration in a jail or prison.

House arrest has been used since ancient times as an alternative to criminal imprisonment, often imposed upon people who either were too powerful or too influential to be placed in an actual prison. Hereditary rulers, religious leaders, and political figures, whose imprisonment might spur a revolt by loyalists, would be confined to their homes where they could live comfortably and safely but without any influence. House arrest does not always lessen its victims' influence, however. Aung San Suu Kyi, a political leader from Myanmar, was placed under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, and again, from 2000 to 2002, by the nation's military junta. On both occasions the international community successfully exerted pressure on the government to release Suu Kyi, a peace activist and Nobel laureate.

The term house arrest can also refer to electronic monitoring programs in which a convicted criminal is sentenced to home confinement instead of prison, for a specified period. The criminal wears an electronic ankle bracelet (for which he usually bears maintenance costs) that monitors movement and sends a signal to a central computer if the house arrest is violated. Examples of crimes that could warrant house arrest include white-collar crimes such as fraud or embezzlement. This type of sentence can be a cost-effective way of punishing criminals who pose no threat to others and thus do not need to be imprisoned at the state's expense.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"House Arrest." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"House Arrest." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/house-arrest

"House Arrest." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/law/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/house-arrest

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

house arrest

house ar·rest • n. the state of being kept as a prisoner in one's own house, rather than in a prison: she was placed under house arrest.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"house arrest." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"house arrest." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/house-arrest

"house arrest." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/house-arrest

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.