Interstate Compact Agreement: Definition & Rules

Instructor: Jessica Schubert

Jessica is a practicing attorney and has taught law and has a J.D. and LL.M.

Learn about the details of the Interstate Compact Agreement. Review the definition and the rules of this agreement, so that you'll have a thorough understanding of how it affects criminal offenders.


Imagine that a person commits a crime in California. However, his family and support unit is back in the state of Virginia. The person would like to serve his parole in Virginia, and his family is willing to help. It would make sense to get the person in the most supportive place possible. Under the Interstate Compact Agreement, this situation may be possible.

The Interstate Compact Agreement is also known as the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. This agreement began in 2002 and is effective in all 50 states. The agreement allows adult offenders to serve parole and probation in regions other than the states where they were convicted. Parole is a conditional release from prison. Probation is release in place of jail time with conditions to be adhered to, such as checking in with a probation officer, seeking employment and other requirements. Under the Interstate Compact Agreement, if one committed a burglary in Florida and was convicted in Florida, that person could be allowed to serve his or her parole or probation in New York.


In order to be eligible to utilize the Interstate Compact Agreement, there are specific criteria that must be fulfilled. If the following criteria are all met, then the offender may be eligible for transfer to another state. The first criteria is that the offender must comply with the sending state's supervision. In other words, the offender must be in good standing with the state. Next, the offender must be a resident of the receiving state or have family who are residents who can help the offender. In addition, the offender must be able to get a job in the receiving state or have a way to obtain financial support.

Many types of individuals may be eligible for transfer to another state under the Interstate Compact Agreement. The first group consists of offenders who qualify for a deferred sentence. This means that the offenders may be placed on probation instead of serving time. A violation of probation, however, usually results in the individual having to immediately serve his or her sentence.

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