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Chapter 2: Following Instructions Related to Conditions of Supervision (Probation and Supervised Release Conditions)

A. Statutory Authority

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(22), the court may provide that the defendant “satisfy such other conditions as the court may impose.”

B. Standard Condition Language

You must follow the instructions of the probation officer related to the conditions of supervision.

C. Purpose

  1. This condition serves the statutory sentencing purposes of public protection and rehabilitation. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(C) and (D).
  2. This condition allows the probation officer to satisfy the statutory requirements to keep informed as to the conduct and condition of the defendant on supervision, report his or her conduct and condition to the sentencing court, and use all suitable methods to aid the defendant and bring about improvements in his conduct and condition. 18 U.S.C. § 3603(2)-(3).
  3. This condition enables the probation officer to provide enforceable instructions that reasonably derive from or are necessary to ensure compliance with the court-imposed conditions of supervision. 

D. Method of Implementation

  1. The initial interview with the defendant is focused on orienting defendants to the supervision process, establishing rapport with the defendant, exploring the defendant’s goals, establishing initial expectations regarding the defendant’s conduct and responsibilities, and developing supervision objectives. The probation officer discusses the expectations of the defendant to comply with the supervision conditions and explains the methods that the probation officer may use to ensure compliance with the conditions.
  2. Throughout the term of supervision, the probation officer assesses numerous factors to remain aware of the defendant’s conduct and condition, to report to the court, and to use suitable methods to change the defendant’s conduct and condition. These factors include the defendant’s residence (e.g., the identity of other residents, the identity of frequent visitors), employment (e.g., work hours, reasons for any absences from work), and financial statements (e.g., changes in cash inflows or outflows, unusual expenditures). In order to assess these factors, the probation officer may instruct the defendant to provide supporting documentation such as mortgage statements, rental agreements, paystubs, or banking statements.
  3. The probation officer may instruct the defendant to abide by rules that are required to satisfy other conditions of supervision. These may include instructing the defendant to provide tax returns or other documentation to ensure that the defendant is complying with the condition to not commit another federal, state, or local crime (see: Chapter 1, Section II); enforcing the condition restricting travel by instructing a defendant permitted to travel outside of the district to call the probation officer upon his or her return (see: Chapter 2, Section III); enforcing the condition prohibiting weapon possession by instructing the defendant to temporarily or permanently transfer the weapons to another person (see: Chapter 2, Section X); and enforcing the condition requiring lawful employment by instructing defendants to report daily or weekly on their job search activities (see: Chapter 2, Section VII).