Probation Violation: Is it Worth Your Future?
As states across the country face the problem of prison overcrowding and not enough money to keep offenders in jail for the whole length of their sentences, more judges are utilizing probation services to rehabilitate criminals and give people a second chance to contribute positively to society.
Probation, in essence, keeps a person out of jail and implements a period of supervision by the courts over that individual until the probationary period is satisfactorily completed. This legal punishment can be ideal for people who are low level offenders or who have no prior criminal offenses on their records.
Even so, it is important that people who are on probation meet all of the requirements of their sentences and comply fully with the mandates of the court. Before they contemplate compromising their sentence, they should be aware of the consequences of probation violations.
Ways of Violating Probation
Some offenders, perhaps, do not mean to compromise their legal futures; yet they inadvertently violate the terms of their probation. Other people, with this sentence, purposefully set out to push the legal boundaries of their probationary period and find out how much they can get away with before they are sent to jail.
Regardless of their intent or purpose, individuals with this court-ordered supervision could risk their futures by engaging in activities that are expressly forbidden by the judge overseeing their case. Activities like drinking alcohol, owning or shooting a gun, going into a casino or liquor store, or even visiting friends and family members deemed a threat to these individuals’ rehabilitation could land people back in jail and prematurely end their probation.
The Consequences of Probation Violation
Judges generally do not take such violations with good humor. In fact, violators are often sent to jail to serve out the remainder of their sentences or given more severe supervisory terms that could include checking in with their probation officer each day or being on house arrest for weeks or months at a time.
Such a violation, likewise, will be duly noted on the criminal records of these offenders, which can compromise their employment chances or opportunities to go back to school if they so choose. With that, people who want to rehabilitate themselves and move onto a new way of living should do everything possible to avoid jeopordizing their probationary sentences.
The Benefits of Fulfilling Probation Satisfactorily
Someone who has fulfilled every criterion for his or her probation can look forward to enjoying several benefits. For instance, the primary benefit for offenders in Minnesota is that they can avoid going back to jail. In fact, this state has new probationary laws in place that encourage people to serve out their sentences fully without violating the terms.
Studies in that state, have shown that offenders who comply with the court’s mandates have a 76 percent chance of going on to live better lives and staying out of jail. Other benefits include having access to financial aid to go back to school, having driving privileges reinstated, and being able to vote again as a productive citizen.
With prisons overflowing in most states and money for keeping jails functional being cut from the judiciary budget, more judges are using probation as a means of curbing crime. Violating probation, however, comes at a cost that many offenders may wish to avoid paying.
Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and blogger. She contributes this article to explore the importance of preserving future opportunities by maintaining a probationary sentence. PhPhoto credit: http://flic.kr/p/dzK2rb
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PhPhoto credit: http://flic.kr/p/dzK2rb