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Chapter 2: Notification of Change in Residence (Probation and Supervised Release Conditions)

A. Statutory Authority

Under 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(17), the court may provide that the defendant “notify the probation officer promptly of any change in address.”

B. Standard Condition Language

You must live at a place approved by the probation officer. If you plan to change where you live or anything about your living arrangements (such as the people you live with), you must notify the probation officer at least 10 days before the change. If notifying the probation officer in advance is not possible due to unanticipated circumstances, you must notify the probation officer within 72 hours of becoming aware of a change or expected change.

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 enables the probation officer to satisfy the statutory requirements to keep informed of the conduct and condition of the defendant, report the defendant’s conduct and condition to the sentencing court, and aid the defendant and bring about improvements in his or her conduct and condition. 18 U.S.C. §§ 3603(2)-(3).
  3. The purpose of this condition is to notify the probation officer of changes in a defendant’s residence so that the probation officer can determine whether such a change poses a risk to the community or impacts the defendant’s risk and needs. Advance notice of such a change is necessary to allow time to assess the suitability of the new residence.
  4. This condition allows the probation officer to implement supervision methods demonstrated by social science to be effective at achieving positive outcomes.
    1. Research suggests that correctional interventions that follow the principles of evidence-based practices (e.g., the risk principle, the need principle, and the responsivity principle) promote positive change in the defendant and reduce the probability of recidivism. These principles include targeting for intervention those defendants with the highest risk of recidivism and addressing their criminogenic needs. Changes in a defendant’s residence may indicate a change in risk level and criminogenic needs (see: Chapter 1, Section III(A)(1)).
    2. Research suggests that exposure to antisocial associates increases the probability of recidivism. Changes in a defendant’s residence may indicate a change in the defendant’s exposure to antisocial associates (see: Chapter 1, Section III(A)(2)).
    3. Research suggests that the probability of recidivism is reduced when defendants develop and maintain prosocial bonds with family and prosocial associates. Changes in a defendant’s residence may indicate a change in the defendant’s bonds with family and prosocial associates (see: Chapter 1, Section III(A)(3)).
    4. Research suggests that for a criminal event to occur there must be an opportunity to commit a crime. Probation officers may work with defendants on supervision, family members, neighbors, other community members, and law enforcement agencies to structure and monitor the defendant’s routine activities and reduce the extent to which defendants come into contact with criminal opportunities. Probation officers may also monitor defendants through contacts with the defendant and his or her social network, verifying employment, restricting travel, and providing positive reinforcement for prosocial routine activities. Changes in a defendant’s residence or employment may indicate a change in crime opportunities (see: Chapter 1, Section III(A)(4)). 

D. Method of Implementation

  1. At the beginning of the supervision process, the probation officer explains to the defendant how notification of changes in residence should be made (i.e., by telephone, in writing, etc.).
  2. If the defendant intends to change or has changed the place or circumstances of his or her residence, the probation officer assesses whether the change is appropriate to meet the defendant’s risk and needs and whether it poses any risk to the defendant or to others.