Community supervision, encompassing probation and parole, is a perennial topic of interest for state legislatures. Thirty-two states passed 73 bills on the subject in 2022. More information is available in NCSL’s Community Supervision Significant Enactment Database.
Conditions of Supervision
At least 12 states passed 14 laws.
Maryland established a Jobs Court Pilot Program that allows participation in full-time job training and job placement programs as a condition of probation (HB 785). Oregon eliminated some of the general conditions of probation and post-prison supervision (SB 1510).
New York required that any program a person must take as a condition of supervision cannot unreasonably interfere with their employment, educational or vocational training schedule unless it is a residential treatment program (AB 6977).
Length of Supervision
Nine states passed 10 bills.
Connecticut allowed sentencing courts to reduce people’s sentences or discharge someone after a hearing and for good cause (SB 425). Illinois set the term of mandatory supervised release for lower-level felonies at six months. It required that within 45 days after the start of that term, the prisoner review board must conduct a review, including the results of a standardized risk and needs assessment tool, for release from supervision (HB 1095).
Florida created an evidence-based probation credit system that includes a 60-day reduction for people who complete a qualifying educational activity such as earning an associate or bachelor’s degree, and a workforce enhancement credit to reduce the term by 30 days for each six-month period of maintaining employment at an average of 30 hours per week (SB 752). Oklahoma established the ability to earn credits for early discharge from parole (HB 4369).
Other states addressing earned release or early discharge in enacted legislation include Vermont (SB 183), West Virginia (SB 437) and Wisconsin (AB 842).
Community Supervision Violations
Fourteen states enacted 15 bills.
Colorado required probation officers to issue a summons, instead of making an arrest, when a person on probation has allegedly violated a condition or the officer is seeking revocation. The law also required the state court administrator to develop a system of structured and individualized behavior responses for probation violations and allowed confinement for a parole technical violation (HB 1257).
Ohio established immunity from sanctions for supervision violations based on good Samaritan provisions (SB 288). Utah allowed a jail to hold a person under supervision in certain circumstances, clarified the information a court and the parole board must consider when an individual violates supervision, and required the corrections department to detain individuals for certain violations (HB 28).
Pennsylvania added new violation response standards to the powers and duties of county adult probation and parole advisory committees (SB 905).
Six states passed eight laws.
Delaware (HB 244), Massachusetts (HB 5050) and New York (SB 8005) all eliminated fees associated with supervision. Delaware eliminated the probation supervision fee, and New York eliminated parole supervision fees. Massachusetts eliminated monthly fees for both probation and parole, including a monthly victim services surcharge for people on probation.
Louisiana required courts to determine a person’s financial ability to pay and allowed courts to waive, modify or create a payment plan for financial obligations (HB 443).
Eligibility for Supervision
Three states passed laws.
West Virginia clarified that the Nonviolent Offense Parole Program is not available to people who are serving a sentence—either consecutively or concurrently—with an offense for a crime of violence against a person or animal, a felony controlled substance, a felony firearm, or a felony where the victim was a minor child (SB 449).
Administration of Supervision
Twenty states passed 42 laws.
The topic of supervision administration continues to see significant legislative interest, including changes to the procedures of parole boards and management of supervision.
California required courts to consider alternatives to incarceration, including, without limitation, collaborative justice court programs, diversion, restorative justice and probation (AB 2167). The bill stated that the Legislature intends for the disposition of any criminal case to use the least restrictive means available.
On the topic of parole, Maine established a commission to examine reestablishing parole (HP 610). Massachusetts required the parole board to record and securely store all audio from hearings (HB 5163). Michigan developed parole guidelines to govern the parole board's discretion (HB 4562) and required that all decisions and recommendations of the parole board be by a majority vote (HB 4563).
Massachusetts appropriated funds to evaluate supervision officer caseloads, hire new officers and expand programming at community corrections centers (HB 5050). Virginia appropriated funding to support a salary increase of $3,000 annually for supervision officers (HB 30).
Colorado required that funds appropriated for medication-assisted treatment be used for continuity of care between incarceration, probation and community-based treatment centers (SB 196).
This report was prepared under a partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts.