Who Decides If A Criminal Should Receive Probation?

Most anyone who finds himself or herself a victim of the criminal justice system for the first time won’t understand the nuance of what’s happening — and certainly, he or she will not know if justice has been done the way it was supposed to. For example, there’s a very specific system in place to determine whether or not a person should be put on probation as an alternative to long-term incarceration.

Corrections officials play a key role in this process. This type of officer will dive into an offender’s background, history, and individual circumstances surrounding the accused’s crime. A report is filed with the court system, after which a judge will make the decision about whether or not the details are suitable for a probation sentence. The judge makes this decision based on the nature of the crime, the likelihood of reoffending, and the report. 

The very nature of the work done by a probation officer makes the opportunity for corrupt activity simple. If the subject of probation and probation officer tell two different stories, who does the court listen to with a vested interest? The probation officer, of course. It’s the sole discretion of this officer to determine whether or not a subject on probation should be placed behind bars for allegedly reoffending. But what if the probation officer lied?

It’s a difficult situation for a former convict. The simplest thing to do when you feel like the world is out to get you is call a lawyer. It might be difficult to prove that a case has merit once probation is ordered, but you can still ask for a hearing to discuss the conduct of a probation officer.

That said, a violation of probation by the offender is statistically more likely. Penalties for violating probation might include hefty fines or additional jail time.

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