Probation: Prison and Federal Prisoners Returning

Last Updated: 13 Jan 2021
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Probation is a type of sentence for criminal defendants. 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. Probation is normally for offenders sentenced to short terms in jail: it is not combined with a long prison sentence. egal dictionary)

Unsupervised, supervised, and intensive are the three types of probation. Intensive probationers are required to report daily to a probation officer and most times has an electronic monitoring system or they are on house arrest. Supervised probationers report to a probation officer once a month. Unsupervised probationers must follow the guidelines but do not have to report to a probation officer. Certain violent criminals and repeat offenders are not eligible for probation according to the statutory restrictions most states use to determine eligibility. Offenders placed on probation are subject to required conditions.

There are standard conditions which all probationers have. Standard conditions include reporting to the probation office, reporting change of address, being employed, and not leaving the jurisdiction without permission. Punitive conditions are set to reflect the seriousness of the offense and make probation a little more painful. Examples of punitive conditions are fines, community service, victim restitution, house arrest, and drug testing. Treatment conditions make probationers deal with problems or needs, like substance abuse, family counseling, or vocational training ( Corrections: The Fundamentals)

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In the probation process a crime is committed and the offender is sentenced to probation. The second is the offender will have to follow several conditions or guidelines. The third would be to follow through with the probation and any other criteria the judge made and get off of probation After researching adults on probation on the BJS website it seems that there is always more state probation than federal. Also the number in state probation has significantly increased through the years. The federal probation has been like a rollercoaster starting low going high, going low and back to high.

In the article by Allen J Beck State and Federal Prisoners Returning to the Community, it states that 42% of discharges from parole/conditional release supervision returned to prison/jail. Also 62% of released State prisoners are rearrested within 3 years; 41% returned to prison/jail. Doing some research on the highlights of three years I found; At yearend 2009, there were an estimated 5,018,900 adults under supervision in the community either on probation or parole the equivalent of about 1 out of every 47 adults in the U. S. Probationers (4,203,967) represented the majority (84%) of the community supervision population at yearend 2009, while parolees (819,308) accounted for a smaller share (16%). At yearend 2008, nearly 5. 1 million adults were under community supervision the equivalent of about 1 in every 45 adults in the United States. At yearend 2002, 1,440,655 prisoners were under the jurisdiction of State or Federal correctional authorities. Looking at the Re entry trend it states at least 95% of all State prisoners will be released from prison at some point; nearly 80% will be released to parole supervision.

In 2001, about 592,000 State prison inmates were released to the community after serving time in prison. All of this information is significant because it keeps a close eye on how many prisoners are released on probation and what percent of these prisoners did not follow through with it. According to the information from BJS it shows that probation effectiveness has its good times and its bad times. I think that probation is an effective form of community corrections as it can be.

There is never a 100% effective way of stopping people from committing crime. If someone commits a crime even knowing the consequences, chances are they will do it again with or without probation. I think the government needs to focus on why people are committing crime and try to prevent crime before it happens. I also think that maybe there needs to be longer probation periods and harsher ones for repeat offenders. I also think that probation should be for less serious crimes and maybe for misdemeanors and not felonies.

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Probation: Prison and Federal Prisoners Returning. (2017, Apr 21). Retrieved from

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