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The day-to-day operation of criminal court supervision—including probation, parole, and electronic ankle monitoring—is understudied and undertheorized. To better understand the mechanics of these systems, this study comprehensively analyzes the rules governing people on criminal court supervision in the United States. Drawing on the analysis of 187 public records from all fifty states, this study documents how criminal court supervision functions and impacts daily life. In particular, this study examines the various ways that supervision rules limit or restrict privacy, bodily autonomy, liberty, dignity, speech, and financial independence. This study also explores the nature and prevalence of supervision rules across the United States. Ultimately, the analysis of the rules offers empirical evidence that court supervision imposes significant restraints on people’s ability to thrive and, in doing so, risks legitimating the subordination of historically marginalized groups.

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