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Early termination of supervised release for good behavior

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Supervised release was initially intended to be used sparingly to balance public safety with rehabilitation for those re-entering society after incarceration. Over time, it became a burden for low-risk individuals because it gradually got tucked into more and more federal conviction orders.

For this reason, the Safer Supervision Act has been proposed to allow individuals who demonstrate good behavior to petition for early termination of their supervised release. The bill aims to shift from supervised release’s one-size-fits-all approach.

What is a supervised release?

Supervised release is essentially a transitional phase where individuals who’ve just been released from prison for a federal crime are monitored and required to adhere to specific conditions. Such individuals may be mandated to:

  • Regularly meet with their probation officer
  • Submit to random drug testing
  • Get approved before traveling anywhere

Ideally, these requirements are meant to help individuals from reverting to their criminal behavior. Unfortunately, they can be a little too harsh for low-risk individuals who are trying to adjust to life outside prison walls.

People who are genuinely reformed can feel constrained by supervised release. Some even end up going back to prison for minor infractions like missing a drug testing appointment. Many people may end up feeling demotivated in their efforts to re-enter society and build a decent life for themselves.

The Safer Supervision Act

The Safer Supervision Act proposes to restructure how supervised release is managed. Should the bill be passed into law, federal courts would have the discretion to conduct risk assessments before assigning a supervised release sentence.

This way, the level of supervision would correspond with the risk posed by the individual. This legislation would also empower low-risk individuals to request early termination of their supervised release sentence if they exhibit consistent good behavior.

The proponents of the Act strongly believe that it would encourage positive behavior among individuals who’ve just been released from federal prison. It would provide a light at the end of the tunnel — something that’s currently missing and a major source of demotivation for many.

The Safer Supervision Act represents a forward-thinking approach to criminal justice reform. Allowing individuals to petition for the early termination of their supervised release based on good behavior helps acknowledges personal growth and promotes a more just system. Individuals who’ve been newly released from prison can benefit from learning more about how the laws apply to their situation.