Probation term papers research and illustrate that the probation process is less expensive than providing intensive prison care for years. The costs of incarceration are great. The price of imprisonment is sometimes greater than can be measured in dollars and cents. For example, in recent research, Dodge and Pogrebin cite that women inmates often suffer a loss of self-esteem and increased stress because of the separation from their family and children. The stigma of imprisonment often resulted in a failure to secure adequate paying employment after release.
The main benefit of probation for the criminal justice system is that recidivism for individuals on probation is lower than the rates for offenders who are incarcerated. In other words, criminals are less likely to commit crimes in the future if they do not go to prison. One explanation for this fact may be that their support systems remain intact, and they are able to retain their employment.Research indicates that probation can work without utilizing intensive supervision that requires day reporting. Day reporting is the requirement that the individual must "check-in" with a probation officer or at a probation facility on a daily basis. This extra component of probation has no impact on recidivism rates.
Successful probation relies on some differing factors. The two main elements are:
- The probationer
- The probation officer
There must be a definition of the purpose of probation. It is an alternative to going to jail. It allows the probationer to remain in the community. Probation is also a time for the probationer to make better choices. With the help of the probation officer this can be accomplished.
One of the keys to a successful probation is for the probationer to know and understand the rules and the consequences of probation. This is the job of the probation officer to go over these rules and expectations at the first meeting. That way there is no misunderstanding or ambiguity. If the probationer completes the required probation time then their involvement with the judicial system could be over. The exception would be sex offenders who may have to register even after they complete their probation.
If the probationer does not follow the conditions set forth by the court and probation officer they could be arrested and possibly go to jail. Armed with these possibilities the probationer knows what his or her options are and can be more successful.
However, this does not mean that probation is the solution for every criminal. De Li, Priu, and MacKenzie report that offenders on probation for drug involvement are likely to continue breaking the law, especially with regard to both property and violent crimes. Thus, these individuals may require other interventions, such as drug rehabilitation program involvement, as well as probation.