Training Bulletin 1-2021i - Reporting Instructions Processing for Living in Receiving State at the Time of Sentencing
Effective February 2, 2021
Re: Rule 3.103 (a)(1)
States are REQUIRED to adhere to timeframes in Rule 3.103, including sending the RFRI request within 7 business days of sentencing.
States MUST send Notice of Departures at the Time the Offender departs or if already in the receiving state at the time the RFRI request is sent.
In circumstances where the 7 business day is not met, sending states should provide a detailed explanation. States should cease practices to submit RFRIs for “Living in Receiving State at the time of Sentencing” as “Expedited” when outside the 7-day timeframe as well as deny RFRI requests received from other states for merely being outside the 7-day timeframe. These practices do not support transfer efficiency and accurate data in ICOTS.
ICOTS has a special workflow for offenders ‘Living in Receiving State at the time of sentencing’ to accurately show the offender’s physical location by allowing for immediate notice of departure and arrivals.
Failure to meet a timeframe does not change the reason for transfer/reporting instructions nor should it automatically disqualify an offender from returning home (most delays are due to administrative or workflow obstacles.)
States should discontinue these practices to:
- Increase the efficiency of the transfer process and decrease unnecessary 'paperwork' and ICOTS processing
- Accurately 'track' the offender and prevent gaps in supervision (other reasons for Reporting Instructions do not allow for a NOD/NOA until reply and offenders sentenced while living in the receiving state are typically already in Receiving State while the RFRIs are being processed)
- Allow for accurate use of Dashboard compliance tools
- Identify various areas of non-compliance and training needs with Rule 3.103 (a) (such as what users/counties are sending outside the 7-day timeframe) and measure compliance in other timeframes in this rule such as 3.103 (d)
- Accurately identify offenders who qualify for each reason for RIs, how many are accepted, whether they are mandatory versus discretionary, and those who successfully complete supervision
Q: How will my state be able to address compliance concerns with officers failing to meet the 7 day timeframe under the instructions of this TB? Is there any data available or a report?
A: Compliance, particularly specific user/region compliance data will provide various ways to audit and automate compliance tools if consistent processes are used by the states. Existing dashboard reports provide information on similar measures (e.g. Transfer Decisions) for states to address timeframe compliance and training issues with their users.
Q: What about cases where it's been weeks or months since the offender was sentenced? Does my state now have to approve RI's for these cases?
A: This TB specifically addresses blanket rejections/denials on cases MERELY for not meeting the 7 business day timeframe. As the compact is about good communication/documentation AND efficiency, case details matter. Sending states should not allow requests to be transmitted to the receiving state without an explanation in such instances.
Q: What specific ICOTS data elements are affect by Rule 3.103 and how can those be measured if states follow the TB instructions?
A: As with most Compact Rules there's a qualification and a timeframe to ensure efficient timely communication/action. For offender's sentenced while living in the receiving state, choosing the reason for RFRI's is the first measure to identify what rule, timeframes and actions are applicable. For measuring the 7 business day compliance, the specific reason for RFRI data element would be queried along with the 'sentenced date' (entered by a sending state on the request) and compared to the transmission date of the RFRI activity to the receiving state. Similarly, other distinct compliance measures in Rule 3.103 such as when the Transfer Request is required under section (d) could be measured.
Q: Is this a training issue for all states? My staff do not reject RI's merely for not meeting the 7 day timeframe. In our experience most of these delays are justified and explained in the requests sent to us and we ensure an explanation is provided in our outgoing review prior to transmission of RI requests for offenders living in the receiving state. For example, we've experienced challenges meeting the timeframe in a handful of cases due to COVID while our state was ironing out new remote sentencing procedures.
A: According to ICOTS data, it is not an issue in every state, but is common. Blanket denials are easy to identify, particularly when a good explanation/justification is provided by the sending state on the request.
Q: Does this TB mean RIs should be requested as living in the receiving state at the time of sentencing if the offender was incarcerated for more than 6 months and released to probation supervision?
A: No, this TB is not applicable to section (a)(5) of Rule 3.103. That is an independent compliance measure for this Rule. Anytime an offender is incarcerated as part of their sentence and wish to transfer to their residence in a receiving state upon release, formal transfer should be requested in accordance with Rule 3.105. The need for an RI request under Rule 3.103 assumes the jail sentence was too short to complete the investigation for the transfer request by the time the offender releases from jail. Of course, with a good justification, nothing in the rules precludes the receiving state from approving RIs for any reason.
Q: If my state receives an RI request as 'expedited' that is merely outside the 7 business days, should we deny and ask the sending state to resubmit as 'living in receiving state at the time of sentencing?'
A: This TB is all about efficiency and decreasing unnecessary denials, so no that is not recommended. It is however expected as a sending state, good documentation and accurate activities (reason for RIs, NOD submitted) are utilized. As these requests are typically reviewed by both a supervisor and a compact staff in the sending state prior to transmission, it is important to follow up with the sending state to ensure the training issue is addressed for future RI requests.
Q: Do requests for RIs require a justification statement even if the case is straight from court or within the allotted 7 days or not?
A: While it may be best practice to utilize the justification box on all RI requests, it is important to understand that not all information regarding the case appears directly on the PDF. It depends on the end user who created the activity and how those details were provided. Be sure to review ALL documentation before rendering a decision as the justification may be on the record as an attachment rather than text entered on the RI reason screen.