House arrest becoming popular choice amid the coronavirus pandemic

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – “It’s either house arrest, jail, or work release,” said Brian Edwards.

These were the options given to Edwards when he went to court last month. Like many others, during the pandemic, the Wichitan chose house arrest.

“I’m not really concerned about COVID. I mean it’s more about the lifestyle. Here I get to do what I want. Basically, I can get up when I want, go to sleep when I want except inside the house,” he said.

House arrest is not an option for all only those deemed non-violent.

“So what we’re talking about is people who have been accused of violating the law and so the courts are then weighing, the district attorney is weighing public safety concerns and these people they feel are safe to be in the community,” said Jared Schechter, Sedgwick County Jail Administrator.

It isn’t free either, the person has to pay for their tracking monitor.

Core Monitoring Systems in Wichita says since the pandemic began they have seen a 25% increase in business.

“It’s health, it’s safety. A lot of people due to some court delays and sentencing delays have had the urge to not sit in the Sedgwick County Jail anymore,” said Ty Miles, President and CEO of Core Monitoring Systems.

Schechter says the number of house arrests is starting to level off. However, each person that can safely be placed under house arrest saves tax dollars and lessen the COVID-19 risk.

“Oh, it absolutely helps. Anything we can do to look at who’s in custody of the jail and not does help. Cause you know there are people who truly do need to be here. They’ve committed very violent crimes, they need to be here but there are some people maybe they can function okay in society and show up for their court dates and do what they’re supposed to,” Schechter said.

Schechter says the jail is still struggling with the virus. They currently only have 4 to 5 active cases inside.

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