Traveling to another state is a parole violation in California. However, there are good reasons why someone might want to, like spending time with family in another state or a job opportunity. Luckily, you can request a parole transfer. Requesting a parole transfer can be an intimidating and time-consuming process. It doesn’t have to be, though.

How Often are Parole States Switched?

You are not the only one requesting a parole transfer to another state. Requests happen far more often than you might think. The Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) processes around 150,000 transfer requests every year. Not every request gets approved, but do not be discouraged. You can submit another one with updated information. Current rejection rates are uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but efforts are being made to keep them low.

Determining Eligibility

There are two types of parole transfer: mandatory and discretionary. For a mandatory parole transfer, if the state you want to leave (the sending state) approves the transfer, the state you want to move to (the receiving state) must accept the transfer. To be eligible for a mandatory transfer, you must meet all the requirements listed below. For a discretionary parole transfer, you are not required to meet all the eligibility rules listed below. The sending state can request that the receiving state accept you, but your acceptance is not guaranteed. 

If you want to transfer your parole from California to another state, the same rules apply no matter what kind of state or county supervision you are under, including state parole, probation, post-release community supervision (PRCS) or mandatory supervision. These rules are defined by the ICAOS. They apply to all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

If you are currently incarcerated, the state of California can send an interstate parole transfer request up to 120 days, or around four months before your expected release date. You will likely receive a reply from the state you would like to transfer to within 45 days. If you have already been released, you can ask your parole agent to submit a transfer request as long as you have at least 90 days or an uncertain amount of time left on your parole. 

Other requirements for determining eligibility include:

  • You have a valid supervision plan.
  • You have not had your parole revoked.
  • You do not have any parole revocation charges pending.
  • Either you are a resident of the state you would like to transfer to OR you have family that lives there who are both willing and able to assist you.
  • If you are not a resident of the state but have family there, you can find employment or otherwise support yourself.
  • You have paid off your restitution orders in California unless a judge rules that it would be “in the interests of justice” to transfer you anyway. 
  • More rules for determining parole transfer eligibility apply to sex offenders covered by the Sex Offender Registration Act. 

Exceptions to the eligibility requirements do occur. These appear in more detail by Article 6 of Chapter 8 of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)’s Department Operations Manual. You should consider these exceptions when deciding to apply for a transfer if you or someone you live with is active duty military, a veteran receiving treatment with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, or have a full-time employer who has requested you change locations. 

Please note that California is experiencing delays in processing transfer requests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What Happens Next?

You need to ask your parole agent if you would like to request a parole transfer to another state. We recommend submitting your request on paper to ensure there is a physical record of your request. Keep a copy of your request for yourself. Your parole agent will verify that you meet the requirements for a parole transfer. When done, the agent will contact the CDCR’s Interstate Compact Unit. The CDCR’s Interstate Compact Unit is California’s branch of the ICAOS and is responsible for approving your transfer request. If your transfer request is approved, the ICAOS will send it to the receiving state. The receiving state will then accept your transfer request if you meet all the requirements for a mandatory transfer. If you have submitted a discretionary request, they will consider it and get back to you.

Successfully transferring your parole to another state can be life-changing. Whatever the reason you want to transfer, contact the Law Offices of Grant Bettencourt today for help with the process.