Originally created as an alternative to incarceration for lower-risk offenders and a way to provide additional supervision to higher-risk individuals leaving prison, probation began as an innovative tool to increase public safety, but has grown to become a common practice that, when used excessively, can actually undermine public safety. Supervision can be a helpful tool when needed, not tacked on as a perfunctory addition to every criminal sentence.1
Appropriate use of probation
Does the community supervision rate reflect considered, judicious usage of supervision?
Duration and extent of supervision
Are there reasonable limits on the duration of supervision?
Are fees affordable and is nonpayment handled in a way that encourages continue reporting?
Sanction and revocation policy
Does the state have graduated sanctions that prevent re-incarceration for minor technical violations?