Credit for the Time Spent In Home Monitoring Programs
In Commwealth of Pennsylvania v. Kyle, 582 Pa. 624, 633, 874 A.2d 12, 18 (2005), the Supreme Court stated:
It is clear that, for over a decade, Pennsylvania appellate courts have determined, as a matter of statutory construction, that criminal defendants are not entitled to credit against a sentence of imprisonment for time spent subject to home monitoring programs. See [Commonwealth v. Kriston], 527 Pa. 90, 588 A.2d 898 (1991)].
Courts have interpreted the word "custody," as used in Section 9760, to mean time spent in an institutional setting such as, at a minimum, an inpatient alcohol treatment facility.
This Court has emphasized that, because home release on electronic monitoring does not constitute custody, credit should not be awarded for it toward a prison sentence.
Exceptions to this rule have been recognized only where equity was deemed to require it, such as when a defendant was assured that his time spent on electronic monitoring would count toward his sentence.
In Kyle, the Supreme Court does acknowledge that in certain instances, consideration may be necessary concerning whether equitable factors relating to the issue of awarding credit for electronic monitoring preclude the blanket denial of such credit.
The Kyle Court unequivocally concluded that time spent subject to electronic monitoring at home is not time spent in custody for purposes of credit under Section 9760, and stated:
The case-by-case test proposed by the lead opinion in Chiappini is specifically disapproved.
This interpretation and resulting bright-line rule will obviate the necessity of evidentiary hearings into the particulars of each electronic monitoring program around the Commonwealth, which would be necessary to implement a case-by-case test.
We hold that the Superior Court erred as a matter of law in remanding this case to the PCRA Court for further evidentiary hearings, based on the Chiappini lead opinion's case-by-case approach. Id., 582 Pa. at 640, 874 A.2d at 22, 23.
Section 9760(1) provides, in pertinent part:
Credit against the maximum term and any minimum term shall be given to the defendant for all time spent in custody as a result of the criminal charge for which a prison sentence is imposed or as a result of the conduct on which such a charge is based. Credit shall include credit for time spent in custody prior to trial, during trial, pending sentence, and pending the resolution of an appeal. 42 Pa.C.S. 9760(1).