Skip to content

Delegation Of Judicial Authority To Probation Officer Over Supervised Release Conditions Improper

After George Yarbrough was sentenced, the court included in its written judgment two special conditions of supervised release that required the defendant to: “’participate in a vocational training program as deemed necessary and approved by the probation officer’ and ‘participate in a mental health program as deemed necessary and approved by the probation officer.’” Yarbrough appealed arguing that these supervised release conditions, as written, amounted to an improper delegation of judicial authority. The Fifth Circuit reversed.

“We conclude that the district court abused its discretion by impermissibly delegating judicial authority to the probation officer as to whether Yarbrough would participate in a vocational training program,” the court wrote. “A court impermissibly delegates judicial authority when it gives a probation officer authority to decide whether a defendant will participate in a treatment program,” the court held.

For similar reasons, the appeals court also vacated the mental health condition. See United States v. Yarbrough, No. 15-20236 (5th Cir. 2017) (unpublished).

About Brandon Sample

Brandon Sample is an attorney, author, and criminal justice reform activist. Brandon’s law practice is focused on federal criminal defense, federal appeals, federal post-conviction relief, federal civil rights litigation, federal administrative law, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Leave a Comment





Recommended for you

Federal Halfway House – Everything You Need To Know

Over the past several weeks, I have received numerous e-mails and calls from different individuals concerning federal halfway house placements that have been reduced significantly—or denied entirely—by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). What is going on? A variety of things, it seems. I.  Federal Halfway House – A Brief Overview The BOP has long…

The First Step Act Bill Summary Explained : A Comprehensive Analysis

The First Step Act 2018 Bill Summary: On December 21, 2018, the President signed into law The First Step Act 2018, a bipartisan effort to reform the federal criminal justice system. The Law Office of Brandon Sample has assembled this detailed analysis of the First Step Act 2018 to help the public understand the ins…

Sentencing Reform And Federal Prison News – January 2018

We are a week into 2018 and there is much buzz about what lies ahead in the year from the courts, Congress, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission for federal prison and sentencing reform. Here’s a summary of some of the highlights. (a) Congress – Sentencing Reform Different bills remain under consideration, but none have yet…

Scroll To Top