What Is Probation And Dow Does It Work? 

What Is Probation And How Does It Work? Rules, Types, & Violations

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What Is Probation And How Does It Work? 

According to law the release of offender from detention,  subject to a period of good behavior under supervision is called probation. It is for non violent crimes.  Probation allows the person to stay in community rather than prison. When a person is convicted of crime,  probation let the person stay in their community under the watch of probation officer.
Probation also applies on those who are conditionally released from prison on parole.  A person in probation has to follow court orders. As soon as the person breaks the rules of court,  his probation will be cancelled and he will be imprisoned again.  In short probation is that instead of jailing a person convicted of crime,  he can stay in his life but under the watch of probation officer until he breaks the rules. During probation he has to follow court orders and report back to probation officer.

What Is The Purpose Of Probation

The word Probation is derived from Latin and it means testing of person’s character and qualification.  Instead of giving harsh sentence court orders probation for a person to maintain his dignity. And if a person will break the rules of court than he will face much harsher sentence.
Probation officer acts as an adviser and keeps check of person under probation.  When a court can not find proof against convicted person. Or if a person is young or has committed a crime for the first time and if the person has good reputation over all, then the court may release the person under certain conditions. And he will be under supervision of probation officer. The person has to maintain good behavior during probation period.

What Is Probation And How Does It Work – Probation Rules

A person must follow probation rules or his probation may get cancelled.  Some rules for person under probation are:
Person has to keep up good behavior and maintain the peace.
  • They will appear before court whenever the court will order.


  • The individual has to tell the court and probation officer in advance about any new information like change of name,  address or employment.


  • They will report to probation officer regularly.


  • The person on probation will refrain from using any intoxicating substance or drugs. (Medical prescriptions will be allowed).


  • The person has to perform up to 240 hours of community service in a period of eighteen months.


  • The individual will avoid the places and people associated with crime.


  • They will be required to  participate in treatment programs actively.


  • The person on probation can not carry or own weapon.


  • They must attend counselling and rehabilitation programs.

Types Of Probation: what is often described as the strictest form of probation for adults in the united states?

There are four types of probation. 


It is also known as unsupervised or court probation. Informal probation is usually given to “low risk” convicted people. It involves payment of fines and dues and no more violations of law until the probation ends.
The court often link incarceration to informal probation that if you keep up the good behavior and pay your fines timely and don’t commit crimes than you will remain stay free. Other wise you have to go to jail.

What Is Supervised Probation

Supervised probation is intense than informal probation. It includes regular meeting with probation officer and you may have to submit random alcohol and drugs checks. Supervised probation is more strict and a person may has to pay fines to victims of his crimes.  Whenever needed, a person has to be available 24 hours a day on phone call and he must report to probation officer regularly. If a person fails to maintain the desired behavior he will be sent to jail immediately.

Community control

The strictest form of probation is community control probation.A person on probation will be under watch all the time. For example a sex offender may get community control probation.  The offender wears ankle monitor so that they can be tracked any time.  He must stay “visible” on surveillance so that he can be traced back all the time for betterment of community.  All other terms and conditions of probation will apply in community control probation.

What Is Shock Probation

In shock probation a person convicted of crime get reincarnation from court and sent to jail for maximum period allowed in law. After some time the court will call the person back and release him on probation. The logic behind this is that a sudden probation after jail shocks the person and he stay aligned with rules of probation.

Crimes That Get Probation

Probation is usually for non violent crimes or for young people who have committed crime for the first time. Crimes that get probation are money frauds or financial cases. White collar crimes can also lead to probation.
Felony,  crime related to immigration or firearms do not provide opportunity to get alternate sentence as home confinement. Individuals who are guilty of grade A or B felony can not get probation.  Finance related cases get probation because money can be reimbursed to the victims.

What Is The Difference Between Probation And Parole?

Parole means early release from jail. A parole will face many restrictions like people on probation. They will report to parole officer instead of probation officer.  The Parole process aims to reintegrate a person into society. Whereas probation aims to monitor offenders preventing them from re offending or causing harm to anyone.  Both probation and parole are similar and done for the overall good of society but some conditions differ according to situations.

Related: What Is The Difference Between Probation And Parole?

What Is The Difference Between Probation And Parole?

What Is A Probation Officer

A probation officer supervise and provides assistance to people on probation. He makes sure that convicted person is in touch and reports back regularly.  Probation officer also provides support and advice to the person on probation. They makes sure that offenders do not commit another crime. The probation officer is appointed by state. And it requires minimum bachelor degree in criminal justice or related field to become a probation officer.

What Happens When Probation Is Revoked? 

The court may dismiss probation because of violation in probation rules. When a probation is revoked,  the original probation no longer remains appropriate.  However when probation is revoked it does not necessarily means that the person will be sent to jail immediately. A judge may add extra period to probation or may impose more fine. Or you may get order to receive more rehabilitation programs.

Can Probation Officers Arrest You? 

Probation officer can only arrest someone if they have an outstanding warrant. Otherwise whether on probation or not on probation, a probation officer can’t arrest anyone.  probation is usually given on minor crimes.

A probation officer without any evidence of violation of probation can not arrest any one. But he may check your phone without any warrant.

What Is Probation Violation?

When a person fails to meet probation requirements , the term probation violation applies. Violations of probation will lead to revoked probation. And you may get maximum of five years probation.

  • Failed drug test

  • Association  with people you are not supposed to be with

  • Skipping  a meeting with probation officer

  • Failure to submit fines or fees

  • Missed court hearing

  • Unable to complete community service

  • Not seeking employment

  • For minor violations you will get warning only, however consistent violations may lead to arrest warrant and revocation of probation.

Pros And Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer

What is Unsupervised Probation ?

When no parole officer is assigned for probation, it is called unsupervised probation. A person is not monitored regularly. A warning of not doing crime again and submission of fees or fine can be part of unsupervised probation.

What Is Probation Supervision ?

A person must meet probation officer regularly in supervised probation. A person is required to obtain permission before going out of state, can be checked  for drugs and have to pay supervision fees. A probation officer monitors the person according to court provided decisions and rules.

Can probation be reduced for good behavior? 

good behavior on its own is not enough to reduce probation period. A probation period can be maximum of three to five years depending on crime. But if a person wants to reduce probation, he needs to submit petition in court for reduction of probation period. Where he will need to explain that why his probation period should be reduced. For reduction in probation you need to :
  • Keep your record clean

  • Hire a defense attorney

  • Serve at least half of probation period

  • Submit petition in court

  • Attend court hearings

What Is Probationary Period? 

A probationary period is usually set by company for newly joined employees. During this period they monitor the performance of an employee. If the performance is up to level than employee is removed from probationary period and job is confirmed.  If the employee failed to meet any requirements of job, he/she can be fired without following formal procedure. There is no defined law about probationary period. But in work culture it usually lasts from 3-6 months.  The employer can extend probationary period if mentioned in contract.

What Is Probation Before Judgement? 

Probation before judgment means probation for first time offenders. It basically saves them from having criminal record. And they don’t need to mention it on papers in future. For example if some one is applying for job etc. Probation before judgement will not be considered as crime. A probation before judgement can last up to 3 years and Maximum of 5 years.
You will not be eligible for probation before judgement if:
  • You are already on probation period.

  • Serving a jail sentence

  • Convicted of misdemeanor within past 5 years

  • You already had probation before judgement within 5 years.

  • Convicted of felony within 10 years

For submission of probation before judgement,  your attorney will fill the form and make sure that you are eligible for probation before judgement. Judge or court will accept and grant you probation before judgement. You have to serve full time on probation before judgement. And court can order you to pay fines,  court fees, do community service and restrict you from meeting certain people.  Usually one year probation is offered on plea but your attorney can negotiate for a shorter probation period .

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