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Community Supervision: Administrative Sanctions

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Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia.


Final rule.


The Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (“CSOSA”) is finalizing its interim rule on administrative sanctions which may be imposed on offenders under CSOSA's supervision who violate the general or specific conditions of their release. The purpose of imposing sanctions is to enable CSOSA staff to respond as swiftly, certainly, and consistently as practicable to non-compliant behavior. Using sanctions will reduce the number of violation reports sent to the releasing authority (for example, the sentencing court or the United States Parole Commission). CSOSA staff will be able to refer offenders back to the releasing authority having demonstrated that CSOSA has exhausted the range of options at its disposal to change the offender's non-compliant behavior. The releasing authority may then concentrate on those referrals which fully merit scrutiny. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent crime, reduce recidivism, and support the fair administration of justice through the promotion of effective community supervision.


April 22, 2003.


Office of the General Counsel, CSOSA, Room 1253, 633 Indiana Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004.

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Roy Nanovic, Records Manager (telephone: (202) 220-5359; e-mail:

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CSOSA is finalizing its interim regulations on administrative sanctions which may be imposed on offenders under CSOSA's supervision who violate the general or specific conditions of their release. These interim regulations were published in the Federal Register on September 20, 2001 (66 FR 48336).

CSOSA is responsible for the supervision of adults on probation, parole, or supervised release in the District of Columbia. A critical factor in such supervision is the ability to introduce an accountability structure into the supervision process and to provide swift, certain, and consistent responses to non-compliant behavior. Under traditional procedures, when offenders under CSOSA supervision violate the general or specific conditions of their release, CSOSA staff must refer the matter to the releasing authority. In most cases, the releasing authority is the sentencing court (usually the Superior Court of the District of Columbia) or the United States Parole Commission (“USPC”). The releasing authority, however, may include any of the jurisdictions participating in the Interstate Compact. The referrals necessarily increase the workload for the releasing authority. The response and response time between a reported violation and a hearing is consequently uncertain.

Regulations issued by the USPC (see 28 CFR 2.85(a)(15)) authorize CSOSA's community supervision officers to impose graduated sanctions if a parolee has tested positive for illegal drugs or has committed any non-criminal violation of the conditions of parole. The USPC retains the authority to override an imposed sanction and issue a warrant or summons if it finds that the parolee is a risk to public safety or is not complying in good faith with the sanction. The Superior Court of the District of Columbia typically includes authorization for a program of graduated sanctions in connection with illicit drug use or other violation of conditions of probation as part of the offender's general conditions of probation. By issuing these interim regulations on the imposition of administrative sanctions, CSOSA intended to ensure the consistency, certainty, and timeliness of imposed sanctions for all offenders (parolees, probationers, and supervised releasees) under its supervision.

Under these interim regulations, CSOSA established a supervision level and minimum contact requirements for the individual offender (see § 810.1). CSOSA uses an accountability contract (see § 810.2) between the offender and CSOSA to define non-compliant behavior. The accountability contract outlines the expectations for behavior and the consequences (that is, the sanctions) for failing to comply. The sanctions present the community supervision officer with a range of corrective actions (see § 810.3) which can be applied short of court or USPC approval. The goal of these sanctions is to change offender behavior. Imposing the sanctions quickly and consistently may prevent escalation of the offender's non-compliant behavior.

The accountability contract identifies a schedule for imposing sanctions which is keyed to the recurrence of violations. The accountability contract also provides for positive reinforcements for compliant behavior (see § 810.3(d)).

Administrative sanctions accordingly are a component of effective supervision. When CSOSA does make a referral to the court or to the USPC, it will be able to demonstrate that it has exhausted the range of options at its disposal with respect to the offender's non-compliant behavior or that the violation is so severe immediate action by the releasing authority may be Start Printed Page 19739necessary to revoke the offender's liberty in the community.

Matters of Regulatory Procedure

Administrative Procedure Act

The implementation of these regulations as interim regulations, with provision for post-promulgation public comments and without any delay in its effectiveness, is based on the “good cause” exceptions found at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3). The anticipated benefits of the rulemaking include an increase in the public safety of the community, relief to the courts and the USPC, and responsive supervision for offenders who may be at risk for continued non-compliant behavior.

Accordingly, CSOSA issued interim regulations to allow for public comment during the implementation of its procedures for the imposition of administrative sanctions. CSOSA received one comment on the interim regulations. The commenter, the Director of Corrections for Volunteers of America, a national, nonprofit organization, expressed support for the interim regulations. The commenter, citing previous technical violation pilot projects and guides produced by the Center for Effective Public Policy and the National Institute of Corrections, stated that CSOSA's interim regulations were what community corrections needs nationwide to effectively empower community supervision staff and reduce unnecessary paperwork and downtime for judges/judicial staff, parole commission and staff, and supervising agency staff. CSOSA is therefore adopting the interim regulations as final without any change.

Executive Order 12866

This rule has been determined to be significant under Executive Order 12866 and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 13132

This rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, the Director of CSOSA has determined that this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Director of CSOSA, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), has reviewed this rule and by approving it certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities. This rule pertains to agency management, and its economic impact is limited to the agency's appropriated funds.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, the Director of CSOSA has determined that no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and export markets.

Plain Language Instructions

If you have suggestions on how to improve the clarity of these regulations, write, e-mail, or call the Records Manager (Roy Nanovic) at the address or telephone number given above in the ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT captions.

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List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 810

  • Probation and Parole
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Accordingly, CSOSA adopts the interim rule published at 66 FR 48336 which added part 810 to chapter VIII, title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations as a final rule without change.

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Paul A. Quander, Jr.,


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[FR Doc. 03-9932 Filed 4-21-03; 8:45 am]