Compact Online Reference Encyclopedia (CORE)

Looking for information on a specific topic, training, rule, or process? Through one search here, you can find the information you need from ICAOS’ white papersadvisory opinions, bylaws, policies, Hearing Officer's Guidetraining modulesrules, helpdesk articles and the bench book. All results are cross-referenced with links to make navigation easy and intuitive.

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The Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision is charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision, a formal agreement between member states that seeks to promote public safety by…
(a) The commission shall determine the formula to be used in calculating the annual assessments to be paid by states. Public notice of any proposed revision to the approved dues formula shall be given at least 30 calendar days prior to the Commission…
(a) A misdemeanor offender whose sentence includes 1 year or more of supervision shall be eligible for transfer, provided that all other criteria for transfer, as specified in Rule 3.101, have been satisfied; and the instant offense includes one or more…
Proposed new rules or amendments to the rules shall be adopted by majority vote of the members of the Interstate Commission in the following manner. (a) Proposed new rules and amendments to existing rules shall be submitted to the Interstate Commission…
Consider adoption of an emergency rule under Section 2.109 of the Rules pertaining to the supervision of offenders from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The Compact statute does not provide for an alternative means of compact membership and the…
Overview The legal environment for Compacts involves an amalgamation of Compact texts and case law from federal and state courts throughout the country. Because there are relatively few court decisions establishing legal principles in any particular court…
Interstate Compacts are binding on signatory states, meaning once a state legislature adopts a Compact, it binds all agencies, state officials and citizens to the terms of that Compact. Since the very first Compact case, the U.S. Supreme Court has…
Beginning with the Articles of Confederation, states used Compacts to settle boundary disputes. In 1918, Oregon and Washington enacted the first Compact solely devoted to joint supervision of an interstate resource (fishing on the Columbia River). Three…
Understanding the legal nature of an interstate Compact begins with this basic point: interstate Compacts are formal agreements between states that exist simultaneously as both (1) statutory law, and (2) contracts between states. The contractual nature…
An interstate Compact is not a “uniform law” as typically construed and applied. Unlike interstate Compacts, uniform laws are not contracts; a state adopting an interstate Compact may not select provisions of an interstate Compact to adopt; and, a state…
Compacts differ from administrative agreements in two principal ways. First, states, as sovereigns, have inherent authority to enact Compacts. See Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12 Pet.) 657, 725 (1838). Thus, states do not need any express…
One of the axioms of modern government is a state legislature’s ability to delegate rulemaking power to an administrative body. This delegation of authority extends to the creation of an interstate commission through an interstate Compact. See Hess v.…
The ICAOS operates under Congress’ consent in the Crime Control Act of 1934, 4 U.S.C. § 112 (2012).
The Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution states, “No State shall, without the consent of Congress, . . . enter into any agreement or Compact with another State . . . .” U.S. CONST. art. I, § 10, cl. 3. Though a strict reading of the Compact Clause…
Once Congress grants its consent to a Compact, the general view is that it may not be withdrawn. Although the matter has not been resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, two federal circuit courts of appeal have held that congressional consent, once given, is…
Congressional consent can significantly change the nature of an interstate Compact. “[W]here Congress has authorized the States to enter into a cooperative agreement, and where the subject matter of that agreement is an appropriate subject for…
Because Compacts are statutes and contracts, courts interpret interstate Compacts in the same manner as interpreting ordinary statutes and by applying contract law principles. PRACTICE NOTE: No court has explained when to apply statutory construction…
Where state law and a Compact conflict, courts are required under the Supremacy Clause (for Compacts with consent) and as a matter of contract law to apply the terms and conditions of the Compact to a given case. The fact that a judge may not like the…
Special Considerations for Litigation Involving Interstate Commissions
In Texas v. New Mexico, the Supreme Court sustained exceptions to a Special Master’s recommendation to enlarge the Pecos River Compact Commission, holding that one consequence of a Compact becoming “a law of the United States” is that “no court may order…
The Eleventh Amendment guarantees state sovereign immunity from suit in federal court. The Eleventh Amendment ensures that states retain certain attributes of sovereignty, including sovereign immunity. Hans v. Louisiana, 134 U.S. 1, 13 (1890). Over the…
Some Compacts authorize the interstate commission to seek judicial action to enforce the Compact against a party state. Article XII.C of the ICAOS is a good example. See Interstate Comm’n for Adult Offender Supervision v. Tennessee Bd. of Prob. &…
For additional information on interstate Compact law and interstate Compacts generally, see MICHAEL L. BUENGER, JEFFREY B. LITWAK, MICHAEL H. MCCABE & RICHARD L. MASTERS,, THE EVOLVING LAW AND USE OF INTERSTATE COMPACTS 2d ed. (ABA Publ’g 2016) and…
In 1934, Congress authorized the creation of interstate Compacts on crime control, which led to the 1937 Interstate Compact for the Supervision of Parolees and Probationers. Also referred to as the Interstate Compact for Probation and Parole or the…
The intent of the ICAOS is not to dictate judicial sentencing or place restrictions on the court’s discretion relative to sentencing. See Scott v. Virginia, 676 S.E.2d 343, 347 (Va. App. 2009). The ICAOS contains no provisions directing judges on…
As a general proposition, convicted persons enjoy no right to interstate travel or a constitutionally protected interest to supervision in another state. See Jones v. Helms, 452 U.S. 412, 418-20 (1981); Griffin v. Wisconsin, 483 U.S. 868, 874 (1987); U.S…
The ICAOS was written to address problems and complaints with the ICPP. Chief among the problems and complaints were: Lack of state compliance with the terms and conditions of the ICPP; Enforceability of its rules given there was no enforcement mechanism…
Against this backdrop, concerned parties proposed a new Compact to the states. Defined in Article I, the purpose of the Compact provided: [T]he framework for the promotion of public safety and protect the rights of victims through the control and…
As previously discussed, the ICAOS received advanced congressional consent pursuant to 4 U.S.C. § 112 (2004). Accordingly, the agreement created a Compact that must be construed as federal law enforceable on member states through the Supremacy Clause and…
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