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Probation in the Criminal Justice System

Probation in the Criminal Justice System

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Published by Jaime Farmer

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Published by: Jaime Farmer on Jan 19, 2013
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Running head: PROBATION IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMProbation in the Criminal Justice SystemBrittany BanksGeorgia Southwestern State University
The criminal justice system has led many offenders through the process of arrest andreleased them back into society. One of the ways of releasing them is through communitysentencing
 probation a “criminal sentence that suspends or delays a correctional term in a
prison or jail (Seigel 367). Probation is offered as an alternative to incarceration; throughsupervision, offenders are allowed to return to society in hopes of a fresh start. So how didprobation begin?
Let’s take a trip back into the Middle Ages where offenders were pu
nished inthe most severe ways- through executions. In those times, when offenders committed a crimethat seem less deserving than the law, judges would grant leniency through judicial reprieve-punishment until new facts were presented or changed behavior displayed from re-enteringsociety. Sureties, known as today, probation officers, made themselves available in efforts tokeep offenders accountable for their actions.Among, some of the historical transition in the early criminal justice system, JohnAugustus, who was a surety, help
developed today’s approach of probation. Under Augustus’s
custody and supervision, he reformed behaviors of 2000 men, by helping them get jobs, whichkept them occupied and kept them from incarceration. Augustus success rate was so great that itin inspired that state of Massachusetts to implement a probation system.Shortly afterwards, states began to adopt the probation system; which led to the officialplacement of probation in federal government. After the development of federal probation in1925, probation became a popular technique to supervise and gain social control. TheAdministrative Office of the United States developed and implemented policies and budgets for
creation of “decentralized system”. The AO work[ed] with “individual officers t
o achieve the
goals of protection and recidivism reduction (Alexander 2008)”
Probation is a contractual agreement that allows offenders to remain in the community,contingent only if they abide by probation rules. Probation is granted to offenders as a secondchance by the state or federal courts. It can be recommended by a jury, but, it has to be grantedby a judge. There are nine stipulations that judges have to consider when awarding or denyingprobation to offenders such as how was the crime committed, the seriousness of the crime, and if the offender was violent or cause any harm.After taking these circumstances into consideration, judges may grant probation in twodifferent ways. A judge may formulate a prison sentence and then suspend the sentence if theoffender agrees to comply to probation rules, or a split sentence is granted- offenders spendssome time in prison and then released in the community on probation. A probationary period istime given to offenders based on the seriousness of crimes. For example, misdemeanors times
are extended for jail time, meanwhile, “warrant probationary periods” are shorter and are granted
to those who committed felonies.Each probationer is given conditions that are set by the courts; these rules are set inplace, in hope, that offenders will not commit another crime and will reform his or her behavior.Once probation rules are set in place, probation officers may not change conditions unless givenpermission by the courts. All conditions are set to fit the crime committed, thereby, cruel andharsh conditions are prohibited. Typically, probationers are restricted to city limits, not allowedto make contact to victims, maybe required to attend classes befitting the criminal activity. If conditions are not met by the offender, then probation will be revoked and incarceration orsuspended sentence will be reinstated.

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