Interstate Compacts and Effects on Criminal Cases

Interstate compacts are agreements between states to enforce a policy that is not necessarily governed by federal law. Interstate compacts are one way that states can work together to enforce a policy or regulation without the interference of the federal government. A few interstate compacts specifically affect criminal cases: the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS), the Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC), and the Driver License Compact (DLC).

Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision

Currently, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Colombia have adopted the ICAOS. The purpose of this compact to ensure the rights of offenders when they are transported from state to state. In some circumstances, one state may allow probation to be transferred to another state. For example, in Johnson, the Indiana trial court allowed the offender’s probation to be sent to Michigan. Johnson v. State, 957 N.E.2d 660, 661 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011). The ICAOS does not give an offender the “right” to live in another state; however, it does allow for a state to decide if the offender can be sent to another state.

Interstate Corrections Compact

The ICC is an agreement meant to protect offenders who are confined or are in treatment or rehabilitation. Indiana is one state that participates in the ICC along with 37 other states and the District of Columbia. The ICC states that offenders are to be “treated in a reasonable and humane manner and shall be treated equally.” This provision applies to offenders that transfer states. This means that an offender that was confined in Indiana and then transferred to another state will be treated the same as the inmates in the other state.

Driver License Compact

Most states, including Indiana, and the District of Columbia participate in the DLC. Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee are the only states that do not participate in the DLC. The DLC states that if a person is convicted of a crime in a state that would cause a suspension, revocation, or other limitation to operating a vehicle will have the same effect in the other states in participating in the compact. So, if a person with an Indiana license has a suspension on their license and drives to Illinois, Illinois will still recognize the license suspension. Further, if a person has an active suspension and tries to apply for a license in a different state, the new state may deny that person’s application for a license under the DLC.