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									          Todd R. Clear
          George F. Cole
          Michael D. Reisig
          www.cengage.com/cj/clear




                Chapter Eight
                  Probation



Todd Scott, PhD • Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan
Learning Objectives
1. Describe the history and development of
   probation, including how it is organized today.
2. Describe the two functions of probation.
3. Discuss the purpose and content of the
   presentence investigation report.
4. Describe the major issues involved in the
   presentence investigation.
5. Describe the dynamics that occur among the
   probation officer, the probationer, and the
   probation bureaucracy.
Learning Objectives
6. Discuss the different kinds of probation
   conditions and tell why they are important.
7. Define recidivism and describe its importance to
   probation.
8. Define evidence-based practice and discuss its
   importance.
9. Describe what is known about the effectiveness
   of probation supervision.
10.Discuss the revocation of probation, including
   “technical” revocation.
Learning Objective 1
Learning objective 1: Describe the history and
development of probation, including how it is
organized today.
Probation
• John Augustus first to provide bail for
  defendants under authority of Boston Police
  Court in 1841
• Judicial reprieve:
  – A practice under English common law whereby a
    judge could suspend the imposition of execution
    of a sentence on condition of good behavior on
    the part of the offender.
Probation
• Recognizance:
  – Formally recorded obligation to perform some act
    entered by a judge to permit an offender to live in the
    community, often on posting a sum of money as
    surety, which is forfeited by nonperformance.
• Augustus also developed:
  –   Presentence investigation
  –   Supervision conditions
  –   Social casework
  –   Reports to the court
  –   Revocation of probation
Probation
• Today offenders placed on probation in 1 of 4
  ways:
  – Judges impose a sentence of probation (60%)
  – Judge impose a sentence of probation that is
    suspended pending good behavior (22%)
  – For those already on probation, additional
    sentence is imposed but its activation is
    suspended (9%)
  – Split sentence (9%)
Organization of Probation
• Centralized or decentralized?
• Administered by the judiciary or the executive
  branch?
• Combined with parole services or not?
Centralized or Decentralized
• Decentralized:
  – Administered by city or county instead of a state
  – Smaller, more flexible
  – Better able to respond to unique problems of
    community
• Centralized:
  – Larger, can train staff to take a variety of roles
  – Can implement broader programs
Administration
• Judiciary:
   – Probation more responsive to the desires of the sentencing
     judge
   – Morale of probation officers higher who work closely with
     judges
• Executive branch:
   – Judiciary ill prepared to manage human service operation
   – Requires full attention of professional public administrators
   – Better allocation of probation services
   – Increased interaction between corrections and allied human
     services
   – Increased access to the legislature and budgeting process
   – More appropriate service priorities
VIDEO: Judge Lectures African American
Defendants
Combined with Parole
• Subtle differences hard to sustain
• Difference in criminal lifestyle
Learning Objective 2
Learning objective 2: Describe the two functions
of probation.
Two Functions
• Investigation
  – Presentence investigation report:
     • An investigation and summary report of a convicted
       offender’s background, which helps the judge decide on an
       appropriate sentence.
• Supervision
  – 3 steps
     • Probation officer establishes relationship with offender and
       defines the role of officer and offender.
     • Officer and offender establish supervision goals to help
       offender comply with conditions.
     • Officer decides how to terminate probation.
Learning Objective 3
Learning objective 3: Discuss the purpose and
content of the presentence investigation report.
PSI
• Purpose:
  – Help judges select an appropriate sentence
  – Help classification decisions
  – Facilitates treatment planning and parole
    decisions
  – Document for systematic research
PSI
• Contents:
  – Verification:
      • PSI information is cross-checked with some other
        source for accuracy.
  – Objectivity:
      • Avoiding vague conclusions about the case.
• Victim impact statement:
  – Descriptions in PSIs of the costs of the crime for
    the victim, including emotional and financial
    losses.
Learning Objective 4
Learning objective 4: Describe the major issues
involved in the presentence investigation.
Major Issues
• Recommendations
  – Person without authority is suggesting what the
    sentence should be
  – Congruence of PSI and sentences range from 70 to
    90 percent
Major Issues
• Disclosure:
  – Williams v. New York (1949)
     • Judge imposed a death sentence on basis of evidence
       in PSI despite jury’s disclosure
  – Cleansing:
     • Confidential comments from a private citizen that
       might endanger the citizen
     • Clinical statements or evaluations that might be
       damaging to the offender if disclosed.
Major Issues
• Private PSIs
  – Client-specific planning:
     • Private investigative firms contract with convicted
       offenders to conduct comprehensive background
       checks and suggest to judges creative sentencing
       options as alternatives to incarceration.
  – Court hires private investigator to provide report
  – Private reports likely more costly than traditional
    alternatives
Learning Objective 5
Learning objective 5: Describe the dynamics that
occur among the probation officer, the
probationer, and the probation bureaucracy.
Dynamics
• The Officer:
  – Officer role conflict:
     • Enforcing the law
     • Helping the offender
  – Power:
     • The ability to force a person to do something he or she
       does not want to do.
  – Authority:
     • The ability to influence a person’s actions in a desired
       direction without resorting to force.
Dynamics
• The Offender
  – Response to supervision strongly influences the
    overall effectiveness of probation.
  – Offenders may see the officer as occupying a
    commanding role.
  – Officers decide on style, supportive or controlling
  – Probationers commonly resent their status
• The Bureaucracy
  – Imposes both formal and informal constraints
Learning Objective 6
Learning objective 6: Discuss the different kinds
of probation conditions and tell why they are
important.
Conditions
  – Standard conditions
     • Constraints imposed on all probationers
  – Punitive conditions
     • Constraints imposed on some probationers to increase
       the restrictiveness of painfulness of probation,
       including fines, community service, and restitution.
  – Treatment conditions
     • Constraints imposed on some probationers to force
       them to deal with a significant problem or need, such
       as substance abuse.
Learning Objective 7
Learning objective 7: Define recidivism and
describe its importance to probation.
Recidivism
• Recidivism:
  – The return of a former correctional client to
    criminal behavior, as measured by new arrests or
    other problems with the law.
     • Important because it reflects the effectiveness of a
       probation strategy.
Learning Objective 8
Learning objective 8: Define evidence-based
practice and discuss its importance.
Evidence-based Practice
• Using correctional methods that have been
  shown to be effective by well-designed research
  studies.
  – Important characteristics:
     • Focus the program on high-risk probationers (risk principle).
     • Provide greater levels of supervision to higher-risk clients
       (supervision principle).
     • Provide treatment programs designed to meliorate the
       problems that produce the higher risk level (treatment
       principle).
     • Make referrals to treatment programs (referral principle).
Evidence-based Practice
Learning Objective 9
Learning objective 9: Describe what is known
about the effectiveness of probation
supervision.
Effectiveness
• Generally no difference among different
  probation strategies, but compare probation
  against itself.
• Probation works more than doing nothing.
• Probation works better than most people
  suspect.
  – New York study:
     • Prevented new arrests
     • Probation more effective than jail
VIDEO: US Tyco
VIDEO: US Worldcom
Learning Objective 10
Learning objective 10: Discuss the revocation of
probation, including “technical” revocation.
Revocation
• Probation ends in 1 of 2 ways:
  – Person successfully completes the period of
    probation
  – Person’s probationary status is revoked because of
    misbehavior
• Revocation results from:
  – New arrest
  – Conviction
  – Rules violation
Revocation
• Rules violations that result in revocations are
  referred to as technical violations.
  – Technical violation:
     • The probationer’s failure to abide by the rules and
       conditions of probation (specified by the judge),
       resulting in revocation of probation.
     • Technically not illegal behavior:
        – Changing residence without permission
        – Failure to attend therapy program
        – Neglecting to report to probation office
Revocation

								
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