Probation

Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps
 
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A sentence whereby a convict is released from confinement but is still under court supervision; a testing or a trial period. Probation can be given in lieu of a prison term or can suspend a prison sentence if the convict has consistently demonstrated good behavior.

The status of a convicted person who is given some freedom on the condition that for a specified period he or she act in a manner approved by a special officer to whom the person must report.

An initial period of employment during which a new, transferred, or promoted employee must show the ability to perform the required duties.

Probation is the period during which a person, "the probationer," is subject to critical examination and evaluation. The word probation is derived from probatum, Latin for "the act of proving." Probation is a trial period that must be completed before a person receives greater benefits or freedom.

In the criminal justice system probation is a particular type of sentence for criminal defendants. The judicial authority to order a sentence of probation is granted in statutes on the federal and state levels. Generally, probation allows a convicted defendant to go free with a suspended sentence for a specified duration during good behavior. Probationers are placed under the supervision of a probation officer and must fulfill certain conditions. If the probationer violates a condition of probation, the court may place additional restrictions on the probationer or order the probationer to serve a term of imprisonment.

A judge also may order probation in addition to a period of incarceration. For example, a sentence might consist of a jail term and, after release, probation for a specified period of months or years. Probation is generally reserved for persons sentenced to short terms in jail: it is not combined with a long prison sentence. If a person is subjected to supervision after a stay in prison, the supervision is conducted by a PAROLE officer.

Both probation and parole involve the supervision of convicted criminals, but the systems are distinct. Probation is ordered by a judge; parole is granted by a parole board. Probation is an alternative to prison; parole is the early release from prison. Probation is reserved for persons convicted of less serious offenses; parole is given to persons convicted of serious offenses.

The concept of probation in the CRIMINAL LAW was inspired in the...

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