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Supervision occurs after an individual has pled guilty or been tried and found guilty and after they've been released from incarceration.

The court will sentence an individual under supervision to probation or to a term of incarceration followed by a term of supervised release. Probation is a court ordered sentence issued as an alternative to jail or prison. Individuals under supervision (probation or supervised release) are assigned to a probation officer who is responsible for monitoring these individuals and ensuring they comply with the conditions ordered by the court and obey laws.

Supervision in the federal system is:

  • A core responsibility of U.S. probation and pretrial services officers, along with investigation.
  • A way to monitor the activities and behavior of people released to the community by the federal courts or paroling authorities.
  • An opportunity to help an individual under supervision reintegrate into the community.
  • In the case of probation, a punishment that is less severe than imprisonment, but still holds people accountable for breaking the law.
  • An alternative to jail or prison that costs less than incarceration and gives people charged with or convicted of federal crimes the opportunity to live with their families, hold jobs, and be productive members of society.

Conditions of Supervised Release

At the start of an individual's supervision, a probation officer will fully explain to that individual, the conditions of his or her release. These conditions include the mandatory conditions of release which the court imposes on all individuals under supervision, and may include discretionary conditions which the court imposes to provide probation officers with the authority to address risk related issues specific to a particular indivdual under supervision. Discretionary conditions may include, among other things, home detention, substance abuse testing or treatment, mental health treatment, and the disclosure of financial information.

Process of Supervision

The process of supervising an indivdual begins with a probation officer evaluating the individual through an interview and risk assessment tool, which allows the officer to identify factors that must be taken into account in developing the individual's specific supervision plan. From the start and throughout supervision, the officer will assess and reassess the potential risk that an individual under supervision poses to another person or the community, and address the individual's other needs. Continued assessments allow the probation officer to adjust his or her personal contact and interventions with the individual under supervision accordingly. The supervision plan developed by the officer will address any obstacles that may impede an individual's ability or desire to complete supervision successfully and will provide for services, such as substance abuse or mental health treatment that an individual under supervision may require.

Violation of Supervision

An individual under supervision can be sentenced to additional incarceration, home confinement, or other conditions if they violate the court-ordered conditions of their supervison or probation.

Early termination of Supervision

Title 18 U.S.C. §§ 3564(c) and 3583(e)(1) permit the Court to terminate terms of probation in misdemeanor cases at any time and terms of supervised release or probation in felony cases after expiration of one year of supervision if satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct of the individual under supervision and in the interest of justice.