Main content

Chapter 1: Scope (Probation and Supervised Release Conditions)

  1. Chapter 2 describes the standard conditions approved by the Judicial Conference at its September 2016 session.  Chapter 3 describes the most common special conditions.
  2. For each condition, this document describes the:
    1. Statutory authority,1
    2. Standard condition language or sample special condition language,2
    3. Purpose, and
    4. Method of implementation.3


1 The statutory authority for imposing discretionary conditions of probation is set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b). The statutory authority for imposing discretionary conditions of supervised release is set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d), which incorporates section 3563(b) by reference. While section 3563(b) lists optional conditions that may be imposed, section 3563(b)(22) also states that the court may provide that the defendant “satisfy such other conditions as the court may impose.” This catchall provision “makes clear that the enumeration [in section 3563(b)] is suggestive only, and not intended as a limitation on the court’s authority to consider and impose any other appropriate conditions.” S. Rep. No. 98-225, at 93 (1983).

2 While this section includes sample condition language for special conditions that is intended to be clear and legally sound, there may be cases where the court or the parties determine that different language is necessary to account for the individual circumstances in that case.  There may also be case law in individual circuits requiring variations from the sample special condition language. For instance, circuits vary in the level of specificity required in conditions to prevent over-delegation of authority to probation officers. Each district should fashion special conditions that comport with circuit case law requirements.

3 The description of the method of implementation is based in part on guidance provided to probation officers by Judicial Conference policy. See note 8, supra.