As part of your loved one's federal sentence, he or she is sentenced to supervised release in addition to the term of imprisonment. It is essentially a probation-like component to the sentence, and can range up to five years, though three years is more typical. During supervised release, the defendant must regularly check in with the U.S. Probation Office, and must not commit any violations of the many terms of supervised release -- which includes not committing any crimes, and complying with drug and alcohol restrictions. A violation of the terms of supervised release may result in additional imprisonment.
I agree with my Avvo colleague but would add. Supervised Release us the period after the prison sentence is served. It is ordered as a part of the sentence by the sentencing judge. It dies not increase or decrease the actual sentence. In some jurisdictions it was formerly called Parole.
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Supervised release is a separate component of a federal sentence that requires a defendant to be supervised by a US probation officer after the defendant's release from prison and community confinement (which includes halfway-house or "residential re-entry center" and home confinement). The defendant will be required to report regularly to a probation officer, and to abide by all terms and conditions of supervised release. However, the supervised release component of the sentence has no effect on the length of time that will be served in custody.
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP