Probation is a period within the criminal law in which an offender is kept under supervision instead of serving time in prison as directed by the court. The essence of being on probation is to determine whether the offender is a serious risk to public safety. This is confirmed by obtaining information on the background as well as the history of the offender. The probation period also gives feedback on the kind of action to be taken on the offender. Such feedback is provided by a probation officer who is in charge of the offender during this period. This information serves the court in determining if the offender shall be put on probation instead of going to jail.
The prevalence of probation as a means of punishment
The cost to the taxpayer is minimal when dealing with an offender than when the offender is incarcerated. Probation also gives the offender an opportunity to be in school or to pursue skills. If the offender is especially a breadwinner and was incarcerated, it will require the government to provide to the family hence costing the taxpayer.
The effectiveness of probation as a means of punishment
It saves taxpayers; this is different from incarceration. Apart from providing skills, it gives the probation officer an opportunity to assess any other challenges that the offender may be going through which may be the real issues resulting to the offence. Since probation endeavours at protecting the society from the offender, its correct application helps in reducing recidivism in the long-term
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ONISHCHENKO, I. I. S. (2016). DISCHARGE ON PROBATION AHEAD OF TIME OF CONVICTED WOMEN WITH INFANT CHILDREN: PROBLEMS AND APPLICATION PRACTICE. И НАКАЗАНИЕ, 115.
Murano, T., Lypson, M., Smith, J., Silverberg, M., Weizberg, M., Lukela, M., & Santen, S. (2015). Creating Clarity for the Process of Managing Residents through Remediation, Probation and Termination. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health, 16(4.1).