Report Example on Probation Through Time: Evolution from John Howard to Modern Practices

Published: 2023-12-25
Report Example on Probation Through Time: Evolution from John Howard to Modern Practices
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Court system Community
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1011 words
9 min read

Describe the History of Probation, as Developed by John Howard. How has it Changed and Remained the Same in the Modern Era?

According to Bahen, Probation refers to a sanction that is ordered by a court system. A person who has been found guilty is put on probation for committing a crime. Therefore, it makes the alleged criminal stay in their community so long as the probation officers keep monitoring them. It is not an option for all offenses.

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John Howard revolutionized prisons into their current status and is well described in his book "The state of the prison in England and Wales,” written in 1777 He explains how important a warden is in ineffective prison management and that he/she should be honest and of full sobriety. He made recommendations that prison warders and guards should be put on payrolls to not just depend on fees levied on prisoners.

It started as a humanitarian effort to allow first-time offenders and criminals a second chance. Early probationers were expected to remain faithful to the law and behave well. From 1920 to the 1950s, probation officers' psychological developments focus their emphasis away from moral understanding to therapeutic counseling. Counseling had three impacts; officers did not act as community supervisors; officers worked as clinical social workers who helped the offenders heal from their psychological traumas (Bahen). Lastly, offenders were expected to get involved in the healing process actively. In the 1960s, social changes affected community corrections across the U.S. In the 1970s, probation and its orientation changed since the goals of rehabilitation and reintegration paved the way for risk management.

The idea of probation took root in the state court systems after that and replaced incarnation. In 1925, Congress was authorized at the federal level and became accepted and was majorly used in community-based supervision. It then spread to other parts of Europe and America in the 18th Century.

How have the Original Tenets of Probation been Implemented in Modern Probation?

The probation and supervision of offenders and criminals shifted towards monitoring and surveillance in the 1970s. Supervision practices have been implemented and are more evidence-based. The model of risk-need-responsivity has been used to change the behavior of the offender. However, it has remained a challenge to maintain and accommodate the emerging knowledge in modern probation. Measures of translating the focus into a more concrete principle to help deliver supervision are available, but testing their implementation models is still being developed. Probation has been used to give second chances to first-time offenders and enable them to change and become good people. It has therefore replaced incarnation.

Should the current implementation of probation remain the same or be updated?

No, it should not be updated. It is because they also decide on how to impose sentences on those who receive probation. The judge gives a jail sentence and suspends the sentence in a probation favor. The prison terms are held and only used if the offender does not abide by the probation's laid-down conditions. The judge also has mandates to impose conditions that the probationer is categorically required to get guidance from during the supervision period. The parole board has the power to decide whether inmates are released from prison before completing their sentences. The board determines the revocation of parole and discharges those who have finished their terms.

High rates of prison admissions have led to increased populations in jails. Revocations have helped to ease the pressure. The increase in parole populations automatically accounts for the increased number of cancellations. The rise in revocation is attributed to shifts towards control-oriented practices of supervision in the community. Community supervision has been beneficial as it results in both treatment and surveillance.

How Would you Present your Changes or Support for Maintaining Current Operations to the Head of Probation in your Agency?

A well-structured report that shows effective combinations of community supervision and treatment and probation findings should be presented. It will serve as evidence that provides that community supervision has good potential and valued addition to the arsenal of actions that the head of probation can effectively use to reduce the community's crime rate. The report should give hopeful indications of probation success. It should be maintained since the offenders who receive closer attention usually have lower recidivism than those who were never supervised and treated. The positive reports on the importance of probation to community members show that it is of the right course, and the current operations should be maintained.

What Criteria would you use to Assess the Success of a New Form of Probation or the Existing Model?

To determine success, the probation departments must have specific responsibilities regarding the population that they supervise. The responsibilities include supervision. The probation officers are responsible for ensuring that people under probation comply with the court (Raynor, Peter, et al.). The conditions include avoiding criminal activities and other requirements like drug testing. The criteria should also involve investigations where reports are well presented to the court. The program referrals require that a probationer participates in the treatment of service programs. The supervising officer is responsible for taking the offender to programs that make them heal in the community.

Works Cited

Bahen, Julia. "Ending the Cycle: Incarceration, Reintegration, and Discharge Planning. A Case Study of the John Howard Society Reintegration Centre," vol 45, no. 3, 2016, 65-72,

Howard, John. The State of the Prisons in England and Wales: With Preliminary Observations, and an Account of Some Foreign Prisons. William Eyres, and sold by T. Cadell in the Strand, and N. Conant in Fleet Street, London, vol 10, no. 3, 2017, p. 1777,

Raynor, Peter, and Maurice Vanstone. "What Matters is What You Do: The Rediscovery of Skills in Probation Practice." European journal of probation, vol 10, no. 3, 2018, 199-214,

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