Simple and Easy Guide: What Is Probation?

Updated on 10/18/2022

If you recently have been put in probation and you are wanting to know the ins and outs, well in this article you’re going to learn more about what is probation or if someone you know has gotten probation this article will also help you better inform your loved one as well.  We’ll cover a few crucial topics that we think you should be aware of … Remember that failing to have a successful probation, most of the time results in that person being incarcerated, so with that being said let’s dive in… First, you may ask What is probation? Probation is an alternative to spending time incarcerated. When the person has been found guilty of a crime but is not a threat to society, the court will let the person stay in an approved community and place them under supervision of a probation officer to make sure the offender completes their requirements. We will get more in details of what is a probation officer and their role later in this article So, don’t think we’ll leave that out.  what is probation like? The conditions usually are restricting you from certain normal life activities that are chosen by the court. Below is a list that can represent what probation is like: • Doing community service • Finding employment • Going to counseling or therapy • Reporting to the probation officer • Avoiding certain people or places • Restrictions on drugs and alcohol • Restrictions on weapons • Asking permission to leave your state or country • Having a curfew • Periodically drug tests • Fines some conditions are implemented precisely just for the crime that was committed. For example, if it’s a sex case than one of your probation conditions is probably not allowing you to be around pornographic substances and may require to register as a sex offender. Probation can last anywhere from 1 year to 25 years depending on the crime that was committed. Usually, the crimes that get probation time are for any non-violent crime which can be theft, robbery or narcotic crimes. If the officer sees that the offender is having good progress and is proving themselves to be a good citizen than the probation officer has the power to request an early probation release for the offender. What types of probations are there? There are really 2 major types of probation:

  1. Supervised probation Supervised probation is the type that the court orders a probation officer to keep tabs of you and you have to report to him either weekly or monthly the court will let you know. The judge usually assigns you conditions like finding a job, doing community service or even having a curfew. The times of a curfew can be from 11:00p.m. to 6:00a.m that you have to be in your approved residence.
  2. Unsupervised probation Unsupervised is literally the opposite of supervised probation. The person in this situation will still have to follow any conditions the court has demanded like fees or community service. Look at the list above for more conditions, also unsupervised probation doesn’t have to be in direct contact with a probation officer or report to the probation officer like supervised. The people that get this supervision is usually because they’re not a threat to re-offend Now you may ask, but what happens if the person violates their probation? Well, this one is tricky to answer. Even if it’s your first time you will still be sent to court and there they will let you know if either your probation will be revoked and you’re sent to prison or the court can choose to extend the time of your probation. If the judge determines to incarcerate you the maximum sentence is five years, let’s say your probation was four years and you completed three of the four years than the judge can still incarcerate you for five years even though you had already done three years of probation. parole-probation

The role of a probation officer is to look over the offender and help from reoffending and making sure that the terms that the court has applied to the offender get completed. What are probation officers and what do they do? The officer usually visits the home that was approved from the court for the offender to live in and make sure there are no items that the court has told the offender they are not supposed to be around. Also, they can visit the place of employment. Yes, most likely the court will have you look and find a job. As that usually is an indicator that you’re trying to better yourself while on probation, but these type of visits are less common. Down below are a few more tasks that may be part of their duty • Going over addictions, anger, or criminal behavior that caused the offender to commit the crime. • Work with mental health providers • Work with correctional facilities • May also be involved with parole officers How often someone meets with their probation officer really depends on the terms that the court has set. It can either be a daily, weekly or monthly meeting. Some officers will want you to go to them or they will visit you. Another option but is not much common as personal meetings are checking in by phone. When meeting with a probation officer make sure your outfit looks presentable as that can be a factor of the probation officer seeing that you’re taking your situation seriously. A presentable outfit can range from wearing the kind of clothes that you would use for an interview to wearing a t-shirt with jeans and sneakers. Try to stay away from sandals. The officer can also report back to the prosecutors and let them know that you’ve have failed to follow the terms that were placed due to your probation. Prosecutors than can take that to the judge and incarcerate you. As the person being in probation, it is your duty to do whatever you can so that you don’t have any violations during this process. Most of the time when violating probation it’ll end up in that person being incarcerated. If it’s someone you know than it is a good idea to send them the link of this article to help your loved one be more informed of the situation. If they’re incarcerated than we make sending articles super easy where you just need the link of the article and we print and ship it for you the same day. We love hearing back from our readers so please let us know if you have anything else to add or any feedback on probation.