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Interstate Compact Myths

The Commission has devoted considerable resources to streamline and automate the transfer process. Since moving to an online transfer process, called ICOTS, many potential delays associated with postal mail have been eliminated. The exchange of offender information that once required weeks is completed in days (and in many cases hours or minutes).

Many things can complicate and delay a transfer that aren’t directly associated with the process, including:

  • Inadequate data provided detailing the plan of supervision
  • Delayed submission of the transfer to the receiving state
  • Insufficient state resources

False. Offenders do not have a constitutional or statutory right to transfer to another state. In order to be eligible to transfer the sending state must be willing to allow the offender to relocate.

Resource: Compact Statute, Article 1

False. ICAOS rules have the force and effect of federal law and take precedent over local court rulings.

If there is a big difference in the number of incoming and outgoing offenders in your state the reason may be a difference in sentencing guidelines. For instance, if your state places a large number of offenders on non-monitored supervision then the number of compact eligible offenders to transfer out of your state will be less than other states. It is important to know that more than 80% of the transfers into your state are for individuals who were from your state when they were sentenced or they have resident family members offering support. Offenders cannot simply decide where they wish to move if they are not a resident and do not have resident family.

The interstate compact applies to all felonies, some misdemeanors, violent, and sex offenders. Only 7.3%* of all approved transfers involve sex offenders.

* According to May 2017 data.

The ICAOS Rules were carefully written to minimize the ability of offenders to abuse the system in this way. While ‘shopping’ for states probably occurs with some discretionary requests for transfer, it is not a factor when it comes time to request a transfer that falls into the mandatory category. Of the approximately 114,000 offenders that are under supervision through the Interstate Compact, more than 80% transferred because they are residents of the receiving state or have resident family in the receiving state.

If your state were not a member of the Interstate Commission then there would be no requirements or repercussions if another state were to allow a violent offender to relocate to your state (Read about Peyton Tuthill’s story). The Interstate Commission requires notification and consensus on offender relocation, and provides a grievance process if a state is found in violation of the ICAOS Rules.