For People Under Probation, Conditions Meant to Support Behavior Change Can Burden More Than Benefit
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Pew on 03/14/2023
Probation supervision can serve as an alternative to incarceration and has been considered a privilege because it allows individuals to remain in the community rather than serving their full sentences in jail or prison. However, that privilege might come with many mandatory requirements that can consume the life of the person under supervision. There are often required treatment appointments, probation office visits, curfews, and other supervision obligations that must be met; otherwise, an individual may receive a sanction. Most probation departments use a standard list of conditions for all people on probation, and special conditions can be added to match an individual’s risk of re-offending and/or particular needs. Probation conditions are part of each person’s case plan and are often increasingly onerous depending on the level of supervision. An individual assessed as having a high level of risk to commit another offense—based on an assessment tool—has more stringent conditions than those with moderate or low levels.