History of Probation

History of Probation

Unit 2 Writing Assignment
Jeffrey Canary
Criminal Justice
Intro to Corrections

Mr. Templeton
Kaplan College

I intend to discuss the factors that influenced the development of probation in America, and how probation differs today from its early history and how is it similar.

Factors that influenced the development of probation in America
Probation in America began in 1841 when a Boston shoemaker named John Augustus overheard a defendant saying that he would drink no more if saved from having to be put in prison. John asked the judge to release him into his custody instead of sentencing him into jail. This made John Augustus the first probation officer. After John’s success became known, many courts were identifying that not every single offender needed to be sentenced to jail or prison.

The differences in early probation, and probation today
In the early stages John Augustus would choose the people he would consider for probation cautiously, offering assistance “mainly to those who were indicted for their first offense, and whose hearts were not wholly depraved, but gave promise of better things” (Augustus 1939). John gave his probationers help in finding employment, getting an education, or a place to live, and also made with aid in obtaining employment, an education, or a place to live, and also made an unbiased report to the court. Today’s probation sentences can be from a first time offense, to even multiple drug charges, more people are getting put on probation, and even getting a second chance if the probationer violates any of the rules. Reason being is that jails, prisons, and even penitentiaries are running out of room. The court feels that by putting people on probation for less offenses, and non-violent offenses they could free up more room for greater offenders and such. In the early stages, probation officers were a volunteer position, getting majority of their volunteers from various religious sect church...

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