Probation is sentence where a convict is released from confinement but is still under court supervision; a testing or a trial period. Probation can be given in lieu of a prison term or can suspend a prison sentence if the convict has consistently demonstrated good behavior. (The Free Dictionary , 1981-2005) The status of a convicted person who is given some freedom on the condition that for a specified period he or she act in a manner approved by a special officer to whom the person must report. There are two different kinds of probation, Adult Probation and Juvenile Probation. Both are similar in many ways, but at the same time different. In the following I plan on explaining the similarities and differences.
The idea of probation was inspired in the mid-nineteenth century by John Augustus, a resident of Boston. Augustus encountered a man about to be sentenced in a Boston court and believed him to be capable of reform. Augustus posted bail for the man and succeeded in getting his sentence reduced. From 1841 to 1859 Massachusetts judges released approximately 2000 offenders into Augustus’s custody instead of ordering incarceration. (The Free Dictionary , 1981-2005)
Although probation officers supervise the probationers, that’s not all they do. There are many things that probation officers are in charge of that most people wouldn’t think of, such as, the Probation Office conducts pre-sentence investigations, parole and probation violation investigations and reports for the Court. The office supervises parolees, probationers and mandatory releases and refers clients to community agencies. (Wise, 2003)
Adult Probation supervises individuals 18 years of age and older, including verifying their residence and employability. Adult Probation also prepares pre-sentence reports for the courts and collects fines, costs and restitution. They are administrators and coordinate all activities related to the probation process. To protect the public, providing information to aid the courts in sentencing and release decisions, enforcing court-ordered conditions of supervision, reducing the risk offenders pose to the public, and helping offenders to become responsible and productive law-abiding citizens. (Wise, 2003)
Juvenile Probation officers supervise youths and families. Caseworkers develop a treatment plan to help the client and the client’s family work out their problems. Juvenile Probation also makes progress reports to the court and recommendations on sentencing and probation. (Wise, 2003) With Juvenile Probation, juveniles are not prosecuted for committing crimes, but delinquent acts. When the delinquent acts are very serious, they may be considered crimes and the juvenile may be tried in the adult system. Juveniles don’t have a right to a public trial by jury. For a juvenile charged with a crime, the trial part of the case includes a judge hearing evidence and ruling on whether or not the minor is delinquent. This is known as an adjudication hearing. Once the juvenile has been judged delinquent, the court will determine what action should be taken. This stage differs from the adult system in the purpose of the action. In the adult system, the goal is to punish. In the juvenile system, on the other hand, the goal is to rehabilitate and serve the minor’s best interest. Juvenile courts are often more informal than those for adults. (Ken LaMance, 1999-2012)
How are they similar you might ask, well I have you covered. Adult Probation and juvenile probation both have the right to an attorney, the privilege against self-incrimination, the right to notice of the charges, and the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt before a person can be convicted.
I have now shown you some ways that Juvenile and Adult probation are different. At the same time I have also showed you how they are similar.
The Free Dictionary . (1981-2005, December 2). Retrieved from The Free Dictionary.com: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/probation Ken LaMance, A. a. (1999-2012). Juvenile vs. Adult Criminal System. Retrieved from Legal Match: http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/juvenile-vs-adult-criminal-system.html Wise, C. (2003). Green County Government. Retrieved from Green County Pennsylvaynia: http://www.co.greene.pa.us/secured/gc2/depts/lo/judges/probation.htm