The Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision’s (ICAOS) State Council Toolkit provides guidance, instruction, and ideas to promote successful council creation and council member terms. It is designed to convey valuable information to assist your council with the important work that you do to promote public safety, enhance offender rehabilitation and successful re-entry, and protect the rights of victims and families.
The ICAOS Toolkit reflects the hard work of the national office to create the best possible resource for you. To that end, we hope that many of your questions can be answered here; however, if you cannot find them in the Toolkit, we encourage you to contact your state compact office or the national office to help address your questions.
Your input regarding council needs is invaluable; and your help ensures the relevance and timeliness of council materials. When you have examples, additions, and suggestions that could benefit others across the country, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Why do state councils exist?
Article IV of the ICAOS Model Act requires each state to establish a State Council for overseeing its intrastate affairs relative to the national compact. Each member jurisdiction must create and maintain a State Council to serve as the coordinating body and in-state partner to the Commission.
- Who can be a member of a State Council?
After ensuring representation of at least one member from each of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches as well as victims’ groups and compact administrators, the state council may determine the number and representation of additional members. Before deciding on specific appointments, review the legislation specific to your state.
What factors should an individual consider when serving on a State Council?
- What is the term of appointment?
- Is the position subject to expense reimbursement or compensation?
- What is the frequency of required meetings and how are they held?
- Are there financial disclosure requirements related to your position?
- What other statutory obligations or requirements exist for service on a board in your state?
- In most instances, your appointment letter should explain these terms; or your compact office should be able to provide you with additional details. Some states may also have a commission or office dedicated to boards and commissions.
What should a state consider when recommending appointments?
- Is a candidate willing to serve?
- Does the candidate have an interest in the Compact or adult supervision?
- Is the candidate highly regarded or known within the criminal justice community?
- Does the candidate maintain network connections of benefit to the Compact Office?
Sample Appointment Letters
- Who is on my state council?
Please visit the State Council Dashboard to see your state’s report filing status and link to your state council membership.
- How often should my council meet?
There is not a single requirement to answer that question; however, acting as a functioning state council likely requires meeting a minimum of once per year. Whether semi-annually, quarterly, monthly, or annually, your council needs to meet to provide your state and compact office with valuable perspective that can be communicated throughout partner communities.
- What are State Council functions or duties?
Organization and leadership are the key components for maintaining an effective, energized State Council. Although structure and make-up may vary across states, the purpose of state councils is profoundly similar. The state council is essentially a communication and support mechanism to assist with developing statewide policy, acquiring critical resources, and Compact Office operations.
According to Article IV, state councils must:
- appoint the state’s Compact Administrator as Commissioner to serve on the Interstate Commission for the state (may be appointed by the State Council or the state’s governor in consultation with the legislature and judiciary);
- determine the State Council’s membership; and,
- exercise oversight and advocacy which includes but is not limited to the development of operating policies for the state’s interstate compact office.
In addition to the requirements outlined in the Model Act, ICAOS Policy 03-2009 provides additional duties such as annual reporting requirements which must be filed with the national office by December 31st of each year and must contain :
- an update to the council’s roster that identifies membership by required groups;
- an annual update of meeting dates and frequency held during the year; and,
- (optional) a summary of accomplishments, activities, or meeting minutes.
The State Council Dashboard may be accessed here.
- What is my state statute?
Each state statute may be located by browsing the state’s directory page.
- What else does a State Council do?
The State Council might:
- inquire about the efficiency or effectiveness of compact processes;
- review annual reports and compliance dashboards developed and maintained by the national office;
- develop or monitor legislative or policy positions within your state;
- make recommendations for and coordinate training of compact officers and other affected state partners;
- inform the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of vacancies in Compact Administrator, Commissioner, or council membership;
- engage in dispute resolution;
- coordinate other compact-related activities and responses among the branches of government;
- raise the visibility of the compact among state leaders, non-governmental interest groups, and the public.
- What are typical issues that my State Council might discuss?
Suggestions for topic discussion:
- How is my state implementing Compact rules?
- Are there recommended changes for discussion at the regional or national levels?
- Does your state have the right data to evaluate the effectiveness of Compact rules and operations within your state?
- Are compact offenders treated the same as in-state-offenders?
- What policies or state laws prevent equal treatment?
- How can we monitor equal treatment of in-state and compact offenders?
- How can we affect statutory and policy change to ensure equal treatment of compact offenders as required by Compact Rules?
- Are staffing and resource needs adequately met by state appropriations?
- Are there related fees that could be passed/implemented to provide the needed resources?
- What effect would compact fees have on equal treatment, equity, etc.?
- How does your state’s compliance rate appear on dashboard reports available from the national office? (May require your state office to provide or assist with accessing reports.)
- What is needed to achieve better compliance?
- How have other states achieved greater compliance success?
- How can your state streamline processes such as warrant issuance and tracking to ensure compliance and improve retaking procedures?
- What training is necessary for officers, prosecutors, or judges to improve efficiency and effective supervision aimed at public protection and successful offender outcomes?
- Explore other data and measures of offender success as well as case management variables to maximizes life-of-supervision efficiency and effectiveness.
- Is your state’s treatment of offenders equitable across demographic lines?
- How can your compact office improve relations with jails, the judiciary, victims’ groups, prosecutors, and others?
Agendas & Minutes
Developing an accurate and actionable meeting agenda is critical to ensuring your State Council is efficient and effective in executing its work. A meeting agenda should specify the date and times (both start and end); indicate who is presiding over the meeting; what updates and briefings are required; any old business to be conducted; any known new business to be addressed; specific action items and decisions required of the State Council during the meeting; and any relevant resources or materials that will be used or referenced during the meeting. Once the agenda has been made public, it should not be changed – unless authorized under applicable state laws or State Council bylaws,
Minutes do not have to be word-for-word transcripts (unless such recordings are required by your state). The purpose of meeting minutes is to capture the action items and decisions made during a specific meeting and record the participants and attendees at the meeting.
Sample Minutes (see Appendix)
- What are some tips and tactics for properly operating State Councils?
If you do not use it, your State Council cannot help navigate legislative change, improve stakeholder relationships, provide feedback on success and challenges, and offer recommendations for improvement.
Communicate frequently with external stakeholders such as law enforcement, judiciary, and victim’s advocacy groups. Consider hosting an event to educate these groups on the compact and your state’s compact-related activities.
Set clear expectations as to the role, duties, and responsibilities of State Council members. Compliance Ensure that your state is meeting its compact obligations and ensuring compliance with ICAOS rules.
Train your State Council members and other key stakeholder groups. Such training may be available from the ICAOS National Office or may be tailored for the unique situation in your state.
Engage with your State Council members and leaders frequently. Involve your State Council members and compact staff in strategic planning and the identification of current challenges and potential solutions.
Regularly evaluate the performance of your State Council and compact office operations. Maintain up-to-date knowledge on legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments as they directly and indirectly impact the Compact in your state.
Seek assistance when necessary from the ICAOS National Office and other member jurisdictions on process, procedures, enforcement, data analysis and information sharing, etc.