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Philosophy & Concept of Probation


    • John Augustus, known as the Father of Probation, first asked the courts to release a prisoner to his care in 1841. By 1852, he had bailed out 1,100 adults and many more children. By 1878, Massachusetts had enacted probation legislation. Other states followed suit, and by 1930, all states, except Wyoming, passed legislation enforcing juvenile probation.


    • Augustus operated on the basic philosophy that criminals can be rehabilitated in the community, given the correct opportunity. Probation officers today use this same philosophy as they work with their clients to motivate them toward a crime-free lifestyle. Probation officers enforce the probation terms set forth by the court as they work toward defendant rehabilitation.


    • The concept of probation provides the offender with the opportunity of community release as long as she obeys the laws and the conditions of her probation. In addition to probation, Augustus developed the concepts of presentence investigation, the casework-management style of probation and continued communication with the courts.

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