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Frequent Questions about Community Resources
Offenders on supervision

Offenders on supervision
What does Probation, Parole, or Extended Supervision mean?
Being placed on probation by a circuit court judge or released from prison on parole or extended supervision, means that you may complete your sentence outside of prison or jail. You will be supervised by the DOC in your community.

Probation means your supervision is community based. Usually, as part of probation, the court orders you to do certain things that relate to the history of your crime, such as: spending time in jail, paying restitution, attending treatment or education groups, or doing community service. Your agent has a copy of the court order and you should ask him/her about the court-ordered conditions of your probation because these conditions are ordered by the court, your agent cannot change them.

Sentence Withheld, Placed on Probation means the court has not imposed a sentence and has ordered you to be placed in the custody of the DOC through community-based supervision. You will be subject to the control of the department under conditions set by the court and rules and regulations established by the DOC for your supervision. If you violate the conditions of your supervision and your probation is revoked, you will be returned to court for sentencing.

Sentence Imposed And Stayed, Placed on Probation means the court has sentenced you to a specific term, but has ordered that sentence not be carried out and has placed you in the custody of the DOC for a stated period. If you violate rules or conditions of probation and your supervision is revoked, you will then be required to serve the sentence imposed by the court. You will not return to court.

Parole means that the Parole Commission has released you from prison and has set your conditions of parole or that you have been released from prison after reaching your mandatory release date.

Extended Supervision means that you have completed your prison sentence under the Truth in Sentencing law and now have a period of community supervision to complete. The judge determined the length of the extended supervision at the time of sentencing.

When will I see my agent?
When your agent meets with you for the first time, he/she will let you know how often you must see him/her. These meetings may occur at your home, job, school, or in the agent's office. These meetings are an opportunity for you to discuss any problems or concerns you have. At least once every six months, your agent will review this reporting schedule and may make changes in the schedule if you have made significant progress with your supervision goals.

Remember it is very important that you keep all appointments with your agent. If you have a problem you need to discuss with your agent and it is not a regular meeting, call you agent and ask if he/she can see you sooner.

If you reach your agent's voice mail during normal business hours, or if he/she is not available and it is an emergency, contact the receptionist and inform him/her of the urgency of the matter. He/she will then obtain assistance for you.

You will be required to follow the rules of your supervision as set forth by your agent. Violations of the rules of your supervision may lead to revocation of your supervision and return to court to be sentenced, or return to prison.

What will my Probation and Parole agent do?
When your agent meets with you, he/she may do required paperwork, collect restitution, verify that your supervision fee account is up to date, verify your employment and attendance at treatment or education groups, obtain a urine sample, collect a DNA sample, and discuss your progress on supervision. This is also a chance for you to ask questions and request help in obtaining needed services.

Your agent will ask you many questions. The information you provide will help your agent to get to know you, and will help you and your agent to set goals for your time on supervision.

Your agent will also visit you at your home. The agent must be familiar with your living situation, and with whom you are living. Home visits help an agent understand your living situation.

If you quit reporting to your agent, and your agent cannot locate you, a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

In addition, the time that passes until you are apprehended will not count toward your time on supervision. In other words, your supervision will be extended for the amount of time that passed while you quit reporting to your agent. It is also possible that your supervision may be revoked for not reporting.

What are conditions of supervision?
During your first meeting, your agent will discuss the rules and conditions of supervision. The court, as well as your agent, may require that you do certain things wile you are on supervision. For instance, you may have to take part in drug or alcohol counseling, family counseling, a school program, a job program, as well as a number of other programs. The court may also order that you pay a fine, court costs and attorney fees, perform community service work, pay restitution to the victim, and pay supervision fees. Payment of supervision fees is an important condition of your supervision as well as it is the law. Your agent will explain exactly what money you owe and assist you in setting up a monthly payment plan, based on your financial situation. If you are not able to pay, your agent may ask the court to give you more time to pay or change the financial condition of your supervision in some way.

Restitution - The purpose of restitution is to make you aware of, and responsible for, the damage caused to your victim(s) and society as a result of the crime you committed. Restitution is your chance to make amends to the victim(s) of your crime for the economic loss they've suffered as a result of your crime. You will submit restitution payments to your agent. If the end of your probation, parole or extended supervision sentence nears, and you haven't paid the restitution you owe, you may have to explain, to a judge, why you have not paid your restitution.

It is possible that your probation will be extended until you pay all of the restitution you owe. In some cases, community service can be performed in lieu of some of your restitution, if agreed to by the Court. A civil judgment may also be entered against you if you fail to pay restitution.

What are Supervision Fees?

Wisconsin determined with passage of 1995 WI Act 27 that all offenders on community supervision must pay for a portion of the cost of their supervision. Wisconsin determined with passage of 2015 WI Act 355 that the Department cannot collect supervision fees from an offender on supervision for a case with unpaid restitution. The supervision fee is charged each month an offender is on supervision. Supervision fees may be collected when the offender does not have unpaid restitution on an active case.

The amount of the offender’s supervision fee is based on the monthly gross income of the offender and his/her spouse. The agent supervising the offender may adjust the supervision fee when there is a change in the offender’s gross monthly income. Offenders who fail to make supervision fee payments could be subject to the following actions:

  • Extension of supervision;
  • Intercept of tax refunds, lottery winnings and/or unclaimed funds;
  • Wage assignment;
  • Revocation;
  • Placement on electronic monitoring;
  • Disciplinary detention for up to five days; and/or
  • Increased level of supervision.

Offenders must make payments using money orders, cashier’s checks or credit cards and complete a payment coupon provided by the Department. The Department cannot accept cash or personal checks. The agent may assist and observe the preparation of the payment and coupon prior to mailing the payment or putting it in the designated drop box.

To be credited for a supervision fee payment, the offender must provide both the supervision fee payment and the assigned coupon.  The offender or another person making a payment on behalf of the offender may present the payment and coupon at a Division of Community Corrections field office or mail them to P.O. Box 93353, Milwaukee, WI 53293-0353.

Can I get an Early Discharge?
Early discharges from probation are granted by the court. Your agent may petition the court for an early discharge if you do the following:
  • Abide by all court ordered conditions of your supervision.
  • Abide by the rules of your supervision.
  • Successfully complete all treatment programs you were ordered to attend.
  • Pay all financial obligations and supervision fees.
  • Have no outstanding warrants.
Offenders on probation must serve at least 50 percent of the probation before they can be considered for early discharge. You are not eligible for early discharge from probation if you are required to register under s. 301.45.

Persons on extended supervision and parole are not eligible for early discharge.

If I am having a disagreement with my agent, what do I do?
If you are having difficulties with your agent, you should first discuss them with your agent. If you are not satisfied with your agent's response, you have the right to appeal to your agent's supervisor. Ask your agent for for DOC-127 "Offender Request for Administrative Review." Your agent will explain the procedure to you. All complaints/appeals must be submitted to your agent's supervisor in writing.

The following cannot be appealed:
  • Custody and detention
  • Revocation
  • Violation of criminal laws or municipal ordinances
  • Firearms denial if you have ever been convicted of a felony
  • Voting denial if you have been convicted of a felony
  • Conditions of supervision ordered by the Court or the Parole Commission.
  • Mandatory detention
While you are in the process of appealing a decision, the initial decision made by your agent will remain in effect. You must comply with the agent's decision or directive during the appeal process. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.

Can I go hunting or have a gun while I am on supervision?
(Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 USC 921 to 928 & Wisconsin Statutes Sec. 941.29, 813.12, 813.122, and 813.125)

Both Federal and State law have a lifetime prohibition for possession of firearms and/or ammunition by convicted felons. Federal law also prohibits possession of firearms and/or ammunition by fugitives from justice, any person who is a user or addicted to any controlled substance, any person committed to a mental health institution, illegal aliens, any person discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions, any person subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing or stalking an intimate partner or child, and any person who has been convicted of any misdemeanor crime which has an element of the crime, domestic abuse behavior. In addition, Wisconsin law prohibits persons subject to domestic abuse or child abuse restraining orders from firearm possession. Wisconsin judges may prohibit firearm possession by persons subject to harassment restraining orders. In addition, corrections policy prohibits you from possessing firearms or ammunition if you have a history of domestic violence-related behavior or have ever been convicted of any offense where the behavior is domestic violence in nature. You should check with your attorney and/or the district attorney in the county where you live to determine if these prohibitions regarding firearms and ammunition apply to you when you are no longer on supervision.

Probation/Parole agents, based on a case by case determination, may prohibit any person on supervision from possessing a firearm and any other weapon.

Finally, you and any visitors to the probation and parole office are prohibited from carrying any firearms or weapons into the office, regardless of whether the weapon is concealed or openly carried.

Can I vote while I am on supervision?
The Wisconsin constitution indicates that a person convicted of a felony cannot vote in any election unless that person is "restored to civil rights." Restoration of civil rights occurs when an offender has discharged from supervision. Therefore, felony offenders cannot vote while they are under supervision to the DOC. Offenders who violate this law may be subject to revocation and/or criminal prosecution.

Can I travel outside the State of Wisconsin?
If you need to leave Wisconsin for any reason, you must get permission from your agent and a travel permit in advance. If your request to travel out of state is approved by your agent, you will be given a travel permit, which will allow you to leave Wisconsin for up to 15 days. Your agent cannot give you permission to leave the country. Travel abroad is prohibited.

In order for your agent to approve a travel permit, he/she will need to know exactly where you want to go, why you need to go there, how long you plan on being there, how you will be traveling and with whom you will be staying. Your agent will need the name(s) and exact address and phone number of the person(s) you will be staying with while you are out of state. Denial of a travel permit may occur for reasons associated with your supervision.

Can I buy, trade, sell or operate a motor vehicle?
You must get permission from your agent to buy, trade, sell or operate a motor vehicle. Your agent will ask you to complete a form to collect information about the vehicle and to record your driver license number. If you are required to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle as a result of an OWI-related conviction, you must report that information to your agent and comply with the requirements of the IID. You must also possess liability insurance on any vehicle you operate.

What happens if I violate the law or the rules of supervision?
If you violate the law or the rules of your supervision, your agent will complete a violation investigation. You may be placed in jail by your agent while the violation is being investigated. Your agent will investigate the facts and will meet with you to discuss the violation. A serious violation may lead to the revocation of your supervision.

What is revocation?
Depending on the violation and your overall adjustment on supervision, your agent may recommend revocation of your supervision. The process involves a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, with your attorney and your agent. If you supervision is revoked, you will either be returned to court for sentencing or transported to a correctional institution.

Are there any programs that I may benefit from?
Your agent may refer you to programs in the community. These may include educational and therapeutic programs including, but not limited to, the following:
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Domestic violence
  • Employment
  • Sexual assault
  • Anger management