A barrier to house arrest: no landline

House arrest is a popular alternative to incarceration in many places including Philadelphia.  The city is working on resolving a major problem obstacle–people who don’t have a traditional wired phone line at home.

 

Currently if you are offered house arrest, you need a wired phone for the system to be installed.  District Attorney Seth Williams says even though many people don’t have one, if they want the home confinement they will find a way to install a phone.

 

“If you prefer to sleep in your home than State Road, they you will find a way to  pay for a telephone,” said Williams.

 

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison says Philadelphia is working on a way to make house arrest available to those who don’t have a home phone.

 

“Probably it’s a year away only because we have to test the products that are out there, there are three that have been brought to my attention and we hope to have something to me in the form of a report in the new year,” said Gillison.

 

The new systems will double the cost of home confinement, but Gillison says it’s cheaper than incarceration and those under house arrest pay for some of it.

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