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Interstate Transfer of Adult Probationers

The policies and procedures relating to the interstate transfer for adult probationers are informally referred to as "the interstate compact." Although the interstate compact applies across the country, it is not federal or United States law. Instead, each state has essentially "signed on" to a compact, or agreement, relating to the movement of probationers from one state to another.

In Arizona, the statutes relating to the adoption of the interstate compact are found in A.R.S. § 31 – 467 and following. These statutes are not the rules themselves. Rather, the statutes represent the official act of "signing on" to the compact. Because Arizona has adopted the interstate compact, probationers on probation for Arizona felony offenses may in certain circumstances be transferred to other states to serve their probation term, without violating their probation.

Although the contact is entered voluntarily by states in agreement with one another, all 50 states as well as three territories – the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, – have entered the interstate compact agreement. Thus, in theory, if the prerequisites are met, an Arizona probationer could transfer just about anywhere. If you've got to be on probation, why not serve the term in the Virgin Islands?

The "sign on" statute in each state is identical and amounts to a form agreement which each state adopts word for word. But it doesn't tell you much about the nuts and bolts of the process of probation transfer. Instead, the statute mainly authorizes the particular state's involvement in the creation of an interstate "commission." The commission, in turn, is given the power to promulgate rules, i.e., to determine the nuts and bolts of who may be transferred and who may not. The commission sets forth all of the rules that all of the states agreed to follow when transferring probationer from one state to another.

The interstate compact administrative rules can be found in their entirety at the commission's website –

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