Sometime before sunup Carl Fogel awakens and considers whether to start his day with a shave and a shower or a shower and a shave. "I try to vary it so I shouldn't go crazy," he says. "Some days I don't shave."

At 5:45 he descends the stairs to his kitchen, peels an orange and eats it. He puts on a pot of coffee, then settles into the chair in which he has spent at least eight hours a day for 10 months. A meticulous dissection of the morning paper begins. At 8 a.m., he knows, his wife will come downstairs to join him for breakfast.

Carl Fogel is in prison at home. The outline of his days in confinement are as definite as a paint-by-numbers still life. He deals in shading, not in form. The wallpaper closes in.

"My wife is already picking out {new} patterns," he says. "Every once in a while I look at it and say, there's 10 petals in that flower over there -- those rusty things -- but that one over there only has nine. Which is the nine, which is the 10? You start getting bonkers after a while."

Much of his morning is spent watching the television that sits on the kitchen table. Fogel weighs 350 pounds. "See what happened to the floor from my sitting here and turning around," he says, pointing to spots where the chair's rear legs have worn through the linoleum. "I gotta put in a new floor. I literally wore a hole in the floor so I could turn around and answer the phones."

When his interest in the television flags he looks out the window. Through the window he sees crab-apple and dogwood trees, a well-kept lawn and, the jewel of his back yard, a swimming pool. It is a pleasant enough scene, but even a Monet would get tiresome if it were all you had to look at for a year.

In April of 1986 Fogel pleaded guilty to a single count of receiving stolen property -- a gold nugget ring -- in the largest gold and silver fencing operation ever uncovered in the District of Columbia. Fogel was the attorney for Joseph Martin, who ran a carpet shop on Florida Avenue. Martin, who implicated Fogel, is currently serving eight years for racketeering and tax evasion.

After hearing three local jurists testify as character witnesses, U.S. District Judge John H. Pratt sentenced Fogel to serve one year in his Potomac home. He is allowed to use his back yard, but cannot leave the property except for doctor's appointments and religious services. Once he went clothes shopping.

The 59-year-old lawyer, who also agreed to be disbarred, maintains his innocence and says he pleaded out of fear of the prosecution's 14-count indictment. But he adds, "I'm not walking around with a halo around my head. There came a time when I knew this guy was a gonif. And as I told the judge, when you lay down with dogs, you sometimes end up with fleas."

Fogel is one of about 175 people in home detention programs in the Washington area. About 70 of these people live in the District and another 70 live in Prince George's County. The rest are scattered throughout the area.

Most detainees are first offenders convicted of nonviolent, primarily white-collar crimes. Their whereabouts are prescribed at all times. In return for being spared a jail term or for being paroled early, most must work, perform community service, support themselves financially during detention and submit to random drug and alcohol testing. Some detainees are monitored by electronic bracelets or beep pagers, others, like Fogel, by unannounced visits and phone calls. If they violate the terms of their confinement, they can be sent to prison for the length of their original sentence.

Currently some 10,000 people in 42 states are in similar programs, according to a recent Rand Corp. survey. But because home detention provides greater control than probation while offering a potential solution to prison overcrowding, experts are predicting a boom.

"This is just a drop in the bucket," says James Byrne, director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research at the University of Lowell in Massachusetts. "It's going to go really wild."

Before it does, criminal justice researchers are trying to determine the effects of home imprisonment on the corrections system and on the community. But while researchers busy themselves with questions of public safety and the merits of retribution over rehabilitation, Fogel contemplates the meaning of a diminished day.

The Tedium of TV

On the television, John Poindexter is explaining himself.

"Anybody who watches television except for this Iran-contra thing, during the daytime, is brain dead," says Carl Fogel, who has been forced to develop an opinion on the subject. "The biggest thing on the schedule to look for is 'Tom and Jerry.' And I taped that for my grandson every day."

The particulars of Fogel's detention are unusual. Judge Pratt originally allowed Fogel to work, then changed his mind. The resulting economic burden would have been prohibitive for most offenders, but Fogel, well-to-do to begin with, was even better to do after winning $675,000 in the Maryland lottery.

His lottery luck hit on Memorial Day weekend 1985, just two months after he was indicted. It was enough, Fogel says, to make a guy believe in cosmic equilibrium. Still, he's bitter about not being allowed to work. "I think that's what hurt me more than anything else because I thought I was wasted," he says. "I can't understand why I couldn't be allowed to work at the free clinic ... Am I that big a menace?"

But home detention is punishment, not rehabilitation. How deeply offenders suffer has much to do with their temperament and circumstances. Fogel, who lives in a spacious split-level with his wife Carol, has a more pleasant environment in which to pass his time than an inner-city parent kept in an apartment with small children. But the Fogels say they had an extremely difficult time late last fall when Carol had major surgery and was laid up until Christmas.

"We were trapped like dogs," she says. "They have no contingency for {such} emergencies. Thank God we have children in town."

Mentally, home has been less a prison for Fogel than it would be for a man with a less active mind. But physically, he is a captive twice over. He has a bad heart as well as circulation problems. Doctors have advised him against most forms of indoor exercise for fear he will dislodge a blood clot that might strike his heart. They have also told him to keep out of the sun for fear of heart attack. From morning to twilight, he is inside, at the mercy of the mass media.

"When I got sentenced I said, 'I will get myself a remote control television set and I will master the world with my television set and read,' " Fogel says. "You'll notice there are reading glasses everywhere."

He is standing before a bookshelf now. "I am a buff, a trivia buff on old movies and old actors. And I'm really good at it," he says. His hand rests on a shelf that holds "The Histories of Musicals" and "50 Years of Oscars." "And these are all of the Gershwin songs from all the shows with the lyrics and verse."

Another shelf holds enough books about the Kennedys to have kept a small publishing house in business for several years. "I mourn John Kennedy's loss," Fogel says. Another shelf is devoted to the modern novel. He taps the spine of "Catch 22." "I love Joseph Heller. He went to the same school I did. Abraham Lincoln High School {in Brooklyn}.

"Without the books I couldn't make it," he says. "This is a funny book, 'The White House Mess.' And then I was reading 'The Echoes of Darkness' -- that's a straight one."

The magazine rack holds a magazine for lottery winners, a magazine for supporters of public television and a travel magazine call Great Escapes, the irony of which goes unremarked upon.

"I read law books," he says. "I read law cases. I do everything I can to keep abreast of the law. If you go back, you don't want to go back as a dummy."

A year alone with one's books might have been an easy time for Emily Dickinson, but Fogel's energy is physical as well as mental. Housebound, he has developed hobbies.

"I became a, what's the word, horticulturist? Those are my plants," he says gesturing to the rows of greenery that line a window in the television room. "Those are my babies. It becomes my responsibility, watering and feeding, and the funny thing is I don't think I ever did anything but water plants before.

"I made a project. Those are poinsettias. Those are supposed to die right away. See the color still in them? I picked up a book on gardening and growth and said, 'Let's try this.' Now I have to get bigger pots. I got tomatoes out the back. I have to trim some of the bushes."

Arguments for Home Detention

The argument for home imprisonment is advanced by both the left and the right.

The left argues that keeping criminals who would otherwise be jailed in the community might alleviate the crisis over prison space.

"Probably in most states if it were done well, one-third or more of a state's prison population could be monitored {on home detention} with no threat to public safety and in the federal program, probably 50 percent," says Jerome Miller, director of the National Center for Institutes and Alternatives in Alexandria.

The right argues that home arrest should be used to keep closer tabs on people now on unsupervised probation.

"Overwhelming probation caseloads make it difficult to provide adequate supervision for many of these offenders, who are, in effect, then left unsecured in the communities they victimized," wrote James K. Stewart, director of the National Institute for Justice, in a recent NIJ bulletin.

The American prison population has increased 66 percent since 1980. Between 1979 and 1983, corrections spending was increased by 80 percent in an attempt to furnish every inmate with a bed. By 1985, 200 prisons were under construction to provide room for 80,000 additional inmates. Still, the Rand Corp. estimates that by 1990, the nation will have a 20 percent shortage in prison beds.

"It's no longer a liberal versus conservative squabble over rehabilitation versus punishment. It's an economic problem," says Mark Corrigan, director of the National Institute for Sentencing Alternatives at Brandeis University near Boston. "If you just look at the data, building is not the answer."

Until a solution is found, many jurisdictions are faced with either releasing inmates early -- as has the District of Columbia to relieve overcrowding at Lorton -- or releasing them on probation. In the first half of this decade, probation populations nationwide rose 70 percent, making adequate supervision almost impossible in many areas.

Conservative advocates of home detention point out that the recidivism rate among people on probation is extremely high. In a National Institute of Justice study in Alameda County, Calif., for example, two-thirds of felons on probation were rearrested within three years.

While home detention seems to offer solutions to both overcrowding and lax supervision, its advocates are cautious about rapid expansion. Successful pioneer programs have been established statewide in Georgia and Florida, but both are less than five years old. There are further complications for the 20 states that use electronic devices to track some 900 detainees because the technological bugs are only gradually being worked out.

Questions of philosophy may prove more problematic than questions of technology. The success of home detention, its advocates say, depends on its acceptance by law enforcement officials and by the public. The issues those groups want settled are: Is it safe? Is it really punishment? And is it being used fairly?

Freedom's Good Times

When he was allowed to roam beyond his property line, Carl Fogel was among the best known defense attorneys in local district and circuit courts. "It was nothing for me to wake up in the morning and drive to Upper Marlboro, make a hearing at 11:30 in Hyattsville, a deposition in Bethesda at 2:30 and make a status call in Superior Court at 4:30," he says. "For a fat guy I must have been in pretty good shape."

He was fast friends with an array of local celebrities, had his own table at Mel Krupin's and Duke Zeibert's and belonged to several prestigious local clubs.

"I had a 50th birthday party," he says. "I had 400 people. I don't want to name-drop, but there were a lot of people you'd know, sure. Lawyers, doctors. {Public radio talk-show host} Fred Fiske was the MC. It was a roast. They roasted me and then I got up and roasted them.

"We were out every night," he says. "My wife would play mah-jongg two nights a week. I golfed on Saturday and Sunday with my regular crowd and on Wednesday afternoon. I would play poker. My favorite game is bridge. Poker for money didn't have the fascination of bridge for nothing."

Confined to his house, he has been retaping old big-band albums. Fogel shows guests to a small office that's lined with records and tapes. He estimates that his music library includes 10,000 albums. "Old show tunes. Gershwin. Cole Porter, Irving Berlin. Jerome Kern," he says.

The monotony of self-generated entertainment is broken infrequently by visitors.

"My friends rallied around, but a lot of them didn't know how to handle it," he says. "A lot of them couldn't handle it. When Gloria Krupin came here the first time, she called it Fogelwood. You have a lot of friends who call but don't come to the house because the house is some form of prison."

"You go and visit a sick person," Mel Krupin says. "What's the difference?"

The difference, in Carl Fogel's eyes, is that there is no shame in being sick. He is allowed to go to the synagogue, but he no longer does. "I just didn't want to face anybody," he says. "It's like opening a new cut. I don't want to be where anybody can see me."

Throughout the detention Fogel has relied heavily on his wife for emtional support. He says she's done time right along with him.

"There's a feeling of persecution that pervades, everywhere," says Carol Fogel, who estimates she's spent 95 percent of her husband's sentence with him. "If a marriage is even a tad shaky there can be horrendous problems. We are unusual because we're a self-contained couple. We have a good time and we don't need anybody."

The uninterrupted hours have given Fogel plenty of time to think about why he is where he is. "I realize A) how I could get into the trouble, B) how I got into the trouble and C) that I took no evasive action to get out of the trouble. I'm able to deal with that. I never said, 'Hey look at me, I'm Ivory Snow.' "

Detention has also given him an appreciation for the simple pleasures of mobility. His greatest kick these days is getting out for his weekly doctor's appointment each Monday. "It's like riding the scooter at the amusement park. Remember the bump 'ems, the dodge 'ems? It's just like that, only I'm not hitting anybody. I say, 'Hey, I'm behind the wheel of a car.'

"Even something like buying gas is a big thing for me. You go pay for it with a credit card and behind the counter they got Life Savers. You can buy a pack of Life Savers and say, 'Hey, I'm a human being.'

"And just because you got to the doctor's office doesn't mean you get in right away, so I go across to one of them hot dog stands on the corner and all of a sudden it's tasting like filet mignon."

As the day grows shorter his attention turns to his VCR.

" 'Ceiling Zero,' 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,' 'Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,' that kind of movie, 'The Fighting 69th.' Hey look, I even like the old stereo, cable network that has the Gene Autry hour.

"And we like 'Jeopardy.' She's good at it and I'm very good at it.

"We have to fill up our time," says Carol, "because we don't fight."

An Image Problem

Several months ago, when The Montgomery County Journal published a story about Fogel, reader response to home detention was somewhat less than favorable. People envied Fogel's $300,000 home, his expensive entertainment equipment and his swimming pool, and they resented the fact that he wasn't in jail.

Home detention has an image problem. "Victims and family members frequently oppose the program," says Joan R. Petersilia, senior researcher in criminal justice for the Rand Corp. "The public perceives any sentence in the community as lenient and any sentence behind bars as harsh."

That is not how the criminal justice establishment perceives it.

"Normally this is indeed severe punishment," Petersilia says. "Those who might serve four to six months in prison serve a year or even two at home. Normally these are not people who enjoy reading. These are people who are usually out in the street."

She points to her experience with a program in Oregon in which one of every two inmates chose prison over a home detention program that included mandatory employment, community service and random drug and alcohol testing.

"This type of sentencing is punitive," says Aaron J. Lucas,the federal parole officer who monitors Fogel. "Your movements are monitored. The family suffers along with you. This is psychological imprisonment."

That may be, a worried community might respond, but a psychological prisoner could still be pretty dangerous if he lives next door. Thus far, home detention programs have selected primarily nonviolent candidates. Escapes have been infinitesimal, and recidivism low. But, if the program is to be expanded, more threatening felons will be included.

Advocates' strongest response to community fears is that currently many of these same felons are out on unsupervised probation and that an experimental form of control is better than none.

Not all objections to home detention regard its leniency. Some opponents see it as a class-biased system. "They do frequently cull out a population that is white and middle class," acknowledges Petersilia.

Another criticism of home detention is that law enforcement officials have overused it. "There are a lot of ominous overtones in the way it is being used," Jerome Miller says. "It is not being used for people who clearly would be in prison or jail. It is being used to extend the net of social control."

In Florida, for instance, home detention has been used to punish traffic violators, a practice Miller calls "idiotic."

Some of the other drawbacks of home detention are just becoming apparent. "An unintended side effect is an increase in domestic violence," James Byrne says. "By moving the risk out of one population you may be moving it into another population."

"What they really need is a backup system," says Carol Fogel, "a support group for wives. They haven't looked into that yet."

Despite these questions, a growing number of communities are embracing home detention as one potential solution to overcrowded jails. In a recent report, Petersilia concluded that "probation's long-term survival may well depend on whether it succeeds in implementing house arrest and other intensive surveillance programs."

Evening Around the Pool

When the sun begins to fade, Carl Fogel puts on a light sweater to guard against mosquitoes and moves into the back yard to sit by the pool with his wife. "I have external speakers that play outside," he says. "Let's say I'll put on Mantovani and a show tape and we're out there. It's 8 o'clock. Nobody is going to bed at that hour and as it gets dark, we'll sit by the edge of the pool and I'm covered to my ears, because the mosquitoes love me. And as soon as it gets real dark, there's a buzzer light that attracts the bugs and we'll go for a swim.

"What I do is I do two laps where I actually swim back and forth, back and forth. Then I float back and forth kicking my legs. That's good for my legs. I'm up to three kicks back and forth and two swims. I'm hoping to do 25 by the end of the summer."

The end of the summer, actually the shank of the summer, is a special time for Fogel. His detention ends on Sept. 2. He cannot reapply for the bar in the District of Columbia for five years, but he can reapply immediately in Maryland.

Officials there say quick readmission is unlikely, but Fogel is undeterred.

"My ambition is to look somebody in the eye somewhere down the line when I'm reapplying and say, 'Let me tell you what I did and let me tell you I am sorry and I'm sorry if I embarrassed the profession because I really love it.'

"You start fancying that picture in your head, handing them {federal prosecutors} the invitation," he says. " 'Here you are, sir. Would you like to come to my swearing in?' "

But that is in the middle distance. Sept. 2 is closer each day.

"The Hyatt has a tea dance," he says. "As fat as I am, I still like to dance with my wife. My wife will have a drink. She's the more adventuresome of the two.

"September 2 -- I don't even know if it's a Monday or Sunday, or what -- I'm going to take my wife out dancing and we'll go for a ride around the Beltway or around the neighborhood, anywhere, just to ride and not give a damn."