What is the difference between mandatory & discretionary conditions?
Federal law governs the mandatory conditions of federal probation (the law breaks it down into a list of mandatory conditions (required) and discretionary conditions (not required).
- Mandatory conditions are the rules that judges must impose.
- Discretionary conditions are the rules that judges can, but do not have to, impose.
If a judge wants to impose a discretionary condition, he or she MUST find that the condition reasonably relates to sentencing factors, and is reasonably necessary for the purposes of supervision.
The only difference to note is that intermittent confinement may be imposed as a condition of probation during the first year of federal probation. Intermittent confinement means temporarily going into Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody for a night, a weekend, or possibly for a longer period of time.