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Can You Get a Job on House Arrest?

Posted on July 11, 2023 in

In Arizona, some non-violent offenders are eligible for house arrest rather than incarceration in a state or county facility. In most cases, the inmate begins their sentence in jail or prison before becoming eligible for house arrest. House arrest—or home detention—occurs after a conviction and requires the convicted individual to remain at home to serve out their sentence while under close surveillance. They may travel outside of their residence only for court-approved activities including work, school, and healthcare appointments. 

The home detention option has increased in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the greatest benefits of house arrest is that it often allows the convicted individual to maintain their employment. People under house arrest who already have employment may continue their work schedule outside of the home during specific hours under very strict rules. It’s also possible to take a new job or position while under house arrest with approval from the probation board.

Who Is Eligible for House Arrest Instead of Incarceration?

Some convicted inmates who have served at least 6-months of their sentence and were not convicted of a violent crime may serve the rest of their sentence under electronic surveillance from home—house arrest—only if they meet the following requirements:

  • If the conviction was for a non-violent class 4,5, or 6 felony
  • If it was not a sexual offense conviction
  • If they have no prior felony convictions
  • If they are eligible for parole or work furlough

In Arizona, a board of executive clemency determines an inmate’s eligibility for home detention by examining their conduct record during incarceration and ensuring they meet the above qualifications. The board must determine that the inmate is unlikely to violate the terms of house arrest and that the inmate’s release to electronic surveillance is in the best interest of the state.

Terms of House Arrest in Arizona

A court in Arizona must review the appropriateness of the place of employment before allowing the convicted individual to leave home to work during house arrest. For instance, a person with a drunk driving conviction would not be granted permission to work at a bar. Before the probation officer and board of executive clemency grant permission for a work furlough while under house arrest, they’ll need information such as the location of the job site and the hours of employment. Other conditions for home detention with a work furlough include:

  • The inmate remains at home except during transportation to work, their work hours, and transportation home
  • They must remain under electronic surveillance
  • They must submit to regular and/or random drug and alcohol testing
  • They must pay a monthly supervision fee for surveillance and a drug-testing fee
  • Most jurisdictions require the employer to be notified of the inmate’s house arrest status
  • The inmate must request permission before making any changes in work hours and location

The state instructs employers to notify the state if the employee under house arrest does not show up at work for their normal working hours. Typically, the inmate’s job must be inside the same jurisdiction of their conviction.

While under electronic surveillance, any movement outside of approved routes to work and home results could be a violation of the terms of house arrest.

Can I Change Jobs While Under House Arrest?

It may also be possible to take a new job while under house arrest, but it requires approval from a probation officer and the board. The new place of employment must be inside the same jurisdiction. 

When considering a change of employment while under house arrest, it’s also important to evaluate the costs of surveillance and drug-testing fees and ensure that there is no lag in pay between jobs that could impact the ability to pay these necessary fees. A criminal defense attorney in Phoenix can help navigate your legal options following house arrest.