Travel Restrictions on Parole and Probation in Sacramento


Travel Restrictions on Parole and Probation in Sacramento

Travel restrictions are a common condition of both parole and probation in Sacramento. The extent of these restrictions depends on whether supervision is “formal” (felony) or “informal” (misdemeanor). Understanding the rules can help clients avoid violations.

Parole Travel Rules

Parolees face strict limits on travel within California[2]:

  • Parolees must get permission from their parole agent to travel more than 50 miles from their residence.
  • They need a travel pass to leave their county for over 2 days or to leave the state.
  • The pass must be carried at all times during travel.
  • Parole agents can approve routine travel, but the Board of Parole Hearings must approve travel out of state.
  • Parolees waive extradition rights, so they can be arrested and returned if found out of state.

These restrictions aim to keep close tabs on parolees and reduce recidivism risks. But they can pose hardships, like missing a relative’s funeral or losing a job offer[5]. Parolees should communicate needs to their agent and request exceptions when warranted.

Probation Travel Rules

Travel rules for probationers depend on whether supervision is “informal” (misdemeanor) or “formal” (felony)[1]:

Informal Probation

Those on informal probation can travel freely within California. They have no probation officer monitoring their movements. However, informal probationers must still:

  • Attend required classes, counseling, or community service. Travel should not conflict with these obligations.
  • Appear at all scheduled court dates. Missing court violates probation and leads to arrest.

So informal probationers can travel if it doesn’t interfere with probation terms. Still, notifying the court of travel plans is wise to avoid misunderstandings.

Formal Probation

Formal probationers face tighter travel limits[1]:

  • Many are restricted from leaving their county of residence without permission.
  • Interstate travel usually requires probation officer approval.
  • Officers may deny travel if it poses recidivism risks.
  • Travel beyond 50 miles from home requires officer notification.
  • Relocation to a new county is rarely allowed.

Formal probationers should consult their officer about any trips and provide a compelling reason for travel approval. Officers have discretion to permit travel deemed necessary and low-risk[5].

Seeking Travel Exceptions

For parolees and probationers facing travel barriers, a few options exist:

  • Communicate with the agent or officer – Discuss why the travel is needed and how risks will be managed. Provide reassurance that conditions will still be met. Be cooperative and understanding of their concerns.
  • Request officer review – If an officer denies travel, formally request review by a supervisor, who may overturn the decision. Provide evidence the travel is necessary and low-risk.
  • File a modification petition – Petition the court to modify probation terms to allow the travel in question[1]. An attorney can help draft a compelling, evidence-based petition.
  • Request an emergency travel pass – For urgent travel like a family emergency, an expedited 1-time travel pass may be granted by parole/probation authorities[5].
  • Apply for transfer – In rare cases, an inter-county transfer may be approved, allowing relocation for compelling needs like employment or family care[5].

While exceptions are difficult, communicating earnest reasons for travel and working cooperatively with the supervising officer can help get approval for trips that are truly necessary.

Consequences of Travel Violations

Travel without permission violates parole and probation rules. Some consequences may include[3][1]:

  • Arrest and detention in county jail for up to 10 days (“flash incarceration”)
  • Formal probation violation charges
  • Revocation of parole/probation
  • Loss of future travel privileges
  • Extension of parole/probation duration
  • New restrictions like home detention or GPS monitoring

Unauthorized travel can thus result in jail time and tighter supervision. It should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Constitutional Rights and Public Safety

Parolees and probationers retain some constitutional rights, but these are limited by public safety concerns and the need to prove trustworthiness[4][6]. Key considerations include:

  • Public safety – Supervision aims to ensure released offenders don’t commit new crimes. Travel can raise recidivism risks, so restrictions help manage threats to public safety.
  • Rehabilitation – Frequent reporting and travel limits allow close monitoring of re-entry progress. This supports rehabilitation.
  • Proportionality – Restrictions should be proportional to the offender’s risks and supervision needs. Overly harsh limits may be unconstitutional.
  • Due process – Revocation of parole/probation requires a court hearing. Travel violations do not automatically lead to revocation.
  • Searches – Parolees and probationers have reduced privacy rights and may be searched without warrants. But searches still must be reasonable in scope.
  • Consent – Courts view parolees and probationers as consenting to limited rights by accepting release conditions. But consent has limits.

Agents must balance public safety and rehabilitation needs against individual rights. While restrictions are normal, excessively limiting travel and movement can hinder re-entry. Officers should apply informed discretion.