Home Detention Programs in Colorado
CRS 18-1.3-106

In Colorado, home detention (sometimes with electronic monitoring) is an alternative sentencing option available to certain defendants. House arrest allows a defendant to serve his or her sentence or term of supervision within his or her home or approved residence. Home detention allows a defendant to maintain employment and reintegrate into the community. In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:

Home detention is an alternative correctional sentence where a defendant is allowed to serve his or her sentence or term of supervision within his or her home or approved residence.

1. What is a home detention program?

Home detention is an alternative correctional sentence where a defendant is allowed to serve his or her sentence or term of supervision within his or her home or approved residence. Under the terms of a home detention program, the defendant shall remain within the approved residence at all times, except for approved activities, including:

  • Seeking employment;
  • Working at his or her job;
  • Conducting his or her own business;
  • Attending an educational institution; and
  • Medical needs.1

2. How do you get home detention?

Not everyone convicted of a crime is eligible for home detention. Unless sentenced directly to a day reporting program, the prisoner will be confined as sentenced. The prisoner may petition the court at the time of sentencing or later, for approval to participate in a home detention program. The court is also able to withdraw the home detention privilege at any time, with or without notice.2

Home detention may be available for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, nonpayment of any fine, or contempt of court if the court deems such a sentence appropriate for the offender.3

Individuals convicted of a sex crime, crimes related to domestic violence, or crimes involving the use of a deadly weapon are generally not eligible for home detention programs.4

3. How does home electronic monitoring work?

Home detention, also known as “house arrest,” is monitored by electronic devices that detect and report the defendant's absence or presence within the approved residence. If electronic monitors detect the defendant is not in the residence as required by the terms of their release, the violation will be reported. Violations of the terms of house arrest may result in revoking home detention, additional penalties, or imprisonment.

There are a number of times of home monitoring devices or techniques that may be utilized. Aside from electronic devices, the terms of probation or home detention may permit a parole officer or probation officer to show up at any time and conduct a search or drug test. Electronic monitoring systems include:

  • Continuous alcohol monitoring
  • Radio frequency monitoring
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring

3.1. How much does home monitoring cost?

Every prisoner gainfully employed shall be liable for the cost of supervision and administrative services if he or she is home-detained. The costs of home monitoring depend on whether the individual is gainfully employed, their other costs, and the type of monitoring involved. Any wages of employed prisoners are distributed according to the sheriff, including child support, spousal maintenance, victim compensation, and administrative services.

4. What happens if I violate home detention rules?

Violating the terms of home detention may result in your house arrest getting revoked. If the monitoring devices detect you are not at home during required hours or leave when you are supposed to be confined, the probation or parole officer will be notified.

Other violations may include not showing up to work or school, failing a drug test, alcohol detection on the continuous alcohol monitoring device, or failure to pay restitution or fines. After a violation, the court may extend the probationary period, lose the privilege of home arrest, be sentenced to jail, or face additional restrictions.

5. Related Topics

There are a number of other alternatives to incarceration. Related sentencing alternatives include probation and community corrections programs. The options may depend on the underlying criminal charge.

5.1. Alternatives in Imposition of Sentence C.R.S. 18-1.3-104

In Colorado, the trial court has a number of alternatives in entering judgment for a criminal sentence. Sentencing options range from probation, specialized restitution, and community service programs to imprisonment or the death sentence. Sentencing alternatives depend on the specific crime, the defendant's history, and potential impact on the safety of the victims.

5.2. Alternative Imposition of Sentence for Drug Felonies C.R.S. 18-1.3-104.5

The law provides alternative imposition of sentences for certain level 4 drug felony cases. During sentencing or resentence after revocation of probation, the court may consider all reasonable and appropriate alternative sentences, including treatment programs or probation.

5.3. Community Corrections Programs C.R.S. 18-1.3-301

Community corrections programs provide a sentencing alternative for individuals convicted of nonviolent crimes. Community corrections programs may be available for individuals that are ineligible for probation supervision, or those who have served a portion of their prison sentence and are awaiting parole placement.

5.4. Collateral Relief C.R.S. 18-1.3-107

When the defendant entered into alternative sentencing, the court may enter an order of collateral relief which is intended to improve the defendant's likelihood of success, including preserving or improving the defendant's job and employment prospects.

Call us for help...

If you have any questions about home detention programs or other sentencing alternatives, contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group. 

Legal References

  1. C.R.S. 18-1.3-106(1)(b)(1.1)
  2. C.R.S. 18-1.3-106(1)(b)(2)
  3. C.R.S. 18-1.3-106(1)(b)
  4. C.R.S. 18-1.3-106(11)


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