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Early Termination of Federal Probation – Policy Factors

Early Termination of Federal Probation – The Policy That Guides Judges

Post #2 of a 3-Part Series

In this previous post on early termination of federal probation, we discussed the factors judges must consider by law when deciding whether or not to let somebody on federal supervision go early. In this post we’ll discuss the policy factors judges consider when making these decisions.

These policy factors come from two sources. First, the Sentencing Commission creates policy that the judge must consider as one of the factors from the previous post. Second, the judiciary publishes its own policy to help guide probation departments and judges on the nuts-and-bolts of actually supervising release federal defendants.

This policy directs probation officers to consider more detailed factors in order to make a recommendation regarding early termination of federal supervision. These are the standards adopted by the Judicial Conference Committee on Criminal Law, and are periodically updated.

In July of 2018, this policy manual got its most recent update. Formerly called Monograph 109, this policy book is now called “Post-Conviction Supervision” and is not widely available for public consumption.

Policy Factors

There are six of these policy factors, and each take a closer look at the offender. While judicial policy does not force district courts to do anything, they are supposed to give it due consideration. 1See Hollingsworth v. Perry, 130 S.Ct. 705, 7011-12 (2010).

A close look at these factors show that there are a lot of areas to consider when attempting to terminate a term of federal supervision. The imaginary change point is 18-months of active supervision. If early termination is requested before 18 months, a more stringent set of factors is considered. However, after 18 months, the six policy factors are relatively easy to meet.

Find out about these factors by reading our e-book specifically about early termination of federal probation.

You can read our comprehensive e-book on early termination of federal probation here.

Those that haven’t gotten into any trouble while on supervision, and are a complete waste of time and money for the government to continue to supervise, have the greatest chance for early termination.

There are however, two factors not shown here than make the biggest difference. In the next post, we’ll take a look at both.