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What is Probation?

             Conditions of Probation and Responsibilities of a Probation Officer.
             Judges have turned more and more to probation instead of incarceration in recent years, and will continue to do so in the future. An important reason for this trend is that probation is less expensive and seems to be more effective for many offenders. Many jurisdictions have such undesirable or overcrowded jails and prisons that judges are reluctant to send offenders to them. Judges know that persons sent to prison for relatively minor offenses often come under the influence of hard-core offenders (Callahan 15).
             Furthermore, effective rehabilitation and education programs are not always available in institutions. The Courts have therefore turned to other methods of dealing with convicted lawbreakers. Judges today are choosing probation and other community supervisory programs as desirable alternatives to imprisonment. Incarceration may be destructive and should be imposed only when necessary. On the other hand, incarceration can also be an appropriate element of a probation program to emphasize the consequences of criminal behavior and therefore effect constructive behavioral change. .
             Probation is one of the alternatives the courts have to imprisonment. Probation permits the offender to serve his or her sentence in his or her community as long as he or she meets the conditions set by the courts. Failure to do so may result in revocation of the sentence and confinement of the offender (Callahan 14). .
             The effectiveness of probation will by far depend more on the kind of individual being treated and the setting in which the treatment occurs. For some, minimum supervision is sufficient. The purpose of probation is to assist in reducing the incidence and impact of crime by probationers in the community. The court services of probation are to provide investigation and reports to the court to help develop appropriate court dispositions for adult offenders and juvenile delinquents and to supervise those persons placed on probation.

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