Serving time under home confinement is certainly better than being in prison, but it is still highly restrictive. Martinovich should wear an ankle bracelet. He should not leave the house except at the permitted time for going straight to and from work or church. Any exceptions must be approved in advance. The telephone rings randomly day and night. This is halfway house calling to make sure the subject responds. Martinovich has fielded more than 1,500 such “accountability calls” since being released for home confinement in 2020.
Those who spend time in home confinement are always in trouble. On the evening of May 31, 2021, half the house called Martynovich home. The internet enabling the home telephone was turned off that night, so the phone did not ring. Neither Martinovich or her fiancé heard the bell on the cellphone. Halfway House staff tried three times to activate the vibration mechanism on the ankle bracelet Martinovich was wearing. The vibration facility, as the Bureau of Prisons later admitted, had failed.
Failures compounded. Halfway House then sent officers from the Norfolk Police Department to keep an eye on Martinovich. At 11:22 a.m. two officers arrived at Martinovich’s home, but according to the bodycam video and news report, the officers “erroneously assumed they were coming to a half-house, not a private residence.” The officers strangely do not ring the doorbell. Instead he “knocked lightly” and went back halfway to the house to which no one answered. A few hours later, Martynovic realized that there had been a missed call, and called half the house on his own accord.
Despite the fact that electronic surveillance monitoring from the GPS on her ankle bracelet confirmed that she had never left the house that night, the Bureau of Prisons still labeled Martynovic an “runaway” – the highest for anyone in home confinement. violation – and pushed him back to federal prison to serve his sentence. This despite the fact that the prison bureau’s own records proved that Martynovic was at home the whole time, which was said to have run away. It took two months and five transfers to prisons across the country to persuade a judge to order Martinovich to release the Bureau of Prisons.