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Bench Book - 3.6.2 Authority to Impose Conditions

Courts and paroling authorities have wide latitude in imposing conditions. Generally, a condition imposed as a part of probation or parole must be reasonably related to the underlying offense, promote offender rehabilitation, not unreasonably impinge on recognized liberty interests, protect the community and not be so vague as to make compliance difficult. If a statute governs authorization of a condition and/or does not violate any constitutional protections, habeas corpus relief is unavailable to an offender contesting the condition. See People of the State of New York ex rel. William Stevenson v. Warden, 806 N.Y.S.2d 185-86 (N.Y. App. Div. 2005). Conditions deemed appropriate include:

  • Pursuant to a North Carolina statute applicable to offenders sentenced in North Carolina, it is reasonable to conclude that the imposition of this limited period of incarceration, in lieu of revocation of probation (‘Quick Dip’), would ‘qualify’ as a condition under Rule 4.103. Such condition would require the State of North Carolina to notify the sending state of such condition of supervision ‘at the time of acceptance or during the term of supervision’ as required under this rule. See ICAOS Advisory Opinion 1-2015;
  • Condition imposed on an offender convicted of weapons charges that included a ban on operation of a motor vehicle and permitted warrantless searches was reasonable given the underlying offense, the need to protect the public, and the goal of reducing the likelihood of recidivism in view of an extensive criminal activity. United States v. Kingsley, 241 F.3d 828, 838 (6th Cir. 2001), cert. denied 534 U.S. 859 (2001);
  • Social contact notification imposed on offender with history of domestic violence. United States v. Brandenburg, No. 05-1261, 2005 WL 3419999, 157 F. App’x 875, 878 (6th Cir. 2005);
  • Supervised release which requires the defendant to remain current on restitution payments from previous criminal convictions is not subject to the limitation that restitution be related to the underlying offense. United States v. Mitchell, 429 F.3d 952, 961-62 (10th Cir. 2005);
  • Participation in sex offender treatment program and prohibition against contact with minor children upheld because condition against contact allowed an offender to seek and obtain prior approval. United States v. Heidebur, 417 F.3d 1002, 1005-06 (8th Cir. 2005);
  • Prohibiting offender who pled guilty to possessing child pornography from having contact with his girlfriend and her minor children because the condition of supervised release served a permitted goal of protecting the children from harm and reasonably allowed for contact upon prior approval. United States v. Roy, No. 05-2145 (1st Cir., March 1, 2006);
  • 'Restitution scheme requiring offender convicted of mail fraud to set up a trust fund for those whom he defrauded was in keeping with the purposes of probation because of establishment of aggrieved parties in civil litigation. United States v. Barringer, 712 F.2d 60 (4th Cir. 1983); and,
  • Mandatory statutory condition prohibiting offender convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor from living with a child and which did not permit exceptions for offender's own children was a valid probation condition, and did not violate due process. State v. Strickland, 609 S.E.2d 253, 256 (2005).

Offenders who transfer supervision under the Compact may be subject to graduated sanctions or short periods of confinement in the receiving state for violating the terms and conditions of supervision. These sanctions intend to modify the offender’s behavior in lieu of revoking the offender’s supervision and returning them to the sending state. The ICAOS rules require receiving states to “supervise an offender transferred under the interstate Compact in a manner determined by the receiving state and consistent with the supervision of other similar offenders sentenced in the receiving state.” See Rule 4.101. However, it is reasonable to conclude, that the imposition of limited periods of incarceration, in lieu of revocation, qualifies as a condition under Rule 4.103, requiring the receiving state to notify the sending state of supervision conditions ‘at the time of acceptance or during the term of supervision’ as required under this rule.



Click terms below to reveal definitions used in this rule.

Supervision – means the oversight exercised by authorities of a sending or receiving state over an offender for a period of time determined by a court or releasing authority, during which time the offender is required to report to or be monitored by supervising authorities, and to comply with regulations and conditions, other than monetary conditions, imposed on the offender at the time of the offender’s release to the community or during the period of supervision in the community.

Plan of Supervision – means the terms under which an offender will be supervised, including proposed residence, proposed employment or viable means of support and the terms and conditions of supervision.

Advisory Opinions