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Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision | Ensuring Public Safety for the 21st Century

Bench Book - 2.8 Effect of Withdrawal

As discussed, offenders have no constitutional travel rights and states have no constitutional obligations to open their doors to offenders from other states. Thus, ICAOS is the only mechanism by which states can regulate the interstate movement of adult offenders subject to community supervision. A state that repeals the ICAOS forfeits being a part of a formal mechanism that regulates the movement of offenders to and from other states. Therefore, at least theoretically, any state could order an offender to relocate to a non-member state without abiding by the most basic considerations, such as prior notice of relocation, the opportunity to review a proposed supervision plan, and the opportunity to investigate whether resources are available to meet the goals of the supervision plan. In short, non-member states place themselves in serious jeopardy of both “dumping” as well as being a “dumping ground” for all other states’ offenders. Additionally, offenders of states that are not members of the ICAOS may be subject to a wide array of state laws and regulations that may actually seek to prohibit relocation. See, e.g., COLO. REV. STAT. § 17-27.1-101(3) (b) (2002). For example, a state statute requiring only that all out-of-state felony offenders submit to psychological testing and registration may not be enforceable against felons from states that are members of the ICAOS, cf., Doe v. Ward, 124 F. Supp.2d 900, 916 (W.D. Pa. 2000), but may be enforceable against felons from states that are not members of the Compact. Stated differently, participation in the ICAOS ensures not only the controlled movement of offenders under community supervision, but also that out-of-state offenders will be given the same resources and supervision provided to similar in-state offenders including the use of incentives, corrective actions, graduated responses and other supervision techniques. Non-participation or withdrawal from the Compact could allow for different treatment of out-of-state offenders, within the bounds of due process and equal protection, than their in-state counterparts. The differences could include requirements imposed on non-member state offenders that effectively prevent transfers to the state.

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