After Release: What to Expect in Your First Days Out on Federal Probation

When must I report to my probation officer?

You must report to your probation officer within 72 hours (3 days), or sooner if a judge or U.S. Probation Officer orders you to do so.[895]

Read the written statement given to you by U.S. Probation for information on where, when, and to whom you should report.[896] If you cannot remember where you were supposed to report or have lost your written statement, you should report to the nearest U.S. Probation office and they will be able to help you.[897] To find the U.S. Probation office closest to you:

    Go to the U.S. Courts’ website here:
    Fill in your city, state, and zip code.
    Under the “Court Type” drop-down menu, choose “Probation Offices”
    A list of offices nearest you will appear. If you click the link for “Details” on any one of those listings, it will take you to a new web page with the street address, phone number for the U.S. Probation office, and an interactive map of the location.

Sometimes the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)—which oversees the federal prison system across the country—will release you to a transitional house (a “halfway house”), before you’ve reached your actual release date—usually 6 months ahead of time.

Before you leave federal prison, the prison staff will give you a “Notice of Release and Arrival” (Form BP-S714.056), which will clearly state the exact amount of time you are allowed for transportation from the prison to the transitional house. Once at the transitional house, you might be subject to a lockdown period (for example, a 72-hour lockdown period)—meaning you cannot leave for those days.

After being released from a transitional house, Federal Probation staff will give you another Notice of Release and Arrival (Form BP-S714.056). For some people on federal probation, that is the moment that the 72-hour clock for checking in with your Probation Officer begins. That form will also clearly state your home confinement date. The transitional house you are leasing in may have requirements you first have to meet to their satisfaction before you will be released to home confinement—usually on an ankle monitor until the 6 months are up.

IMPORTANT: If you were released from federal prison before October 26, 2016, and were given a Bureau of Prisons pre-paid debit card issued by Chase, you may be eligible for payment under a class action settlement.[898] To find out more information about the lawsuit, and determine whether you are owed money as a member of the class action, contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-280-6496.


  1. 895

    See United States Probation Office, Central District of California, Frequently Asked Questions,

  2. 896

    18 U.S.C. § 3564(d).

  3. 897

    Telephone call with Duty Officer at the San Francisco United States Probation Office on March 19, 2015.

  4. 898

    JPMorgan Chase Bureau of Prisons Debit Card Fees Settlement, Top Class Actions (Dec. 27, 2016),