There are different types of sentences in a criminal law world, and probation is one of them. Probation is a type of sentence where the offender can continue living in the community instead of serving time in prison. The criminal on probation is allowed to follow some orders set forth by the court, and going contrary to them would automatically lead him or her to jail. Judicial reprieve is the mother of probation; this practice allowed the court to temporarily suspend the execution of sentence, leading to the growth of probation.
However, this practice may have advantages and disadvantages to both the criminal and the community members. In this module, we shall discuss both sides (pros and cons) of probation.
Pros of Probation
1. Cost-effective- To the government, this practice is cost-effective as it spends less when the criminal is released on probation. Also, it helps save the money that would be used to cater to the offender on probation.
2. Spared embarrassment and dishonor- it obvious that nobody likes to be associated with criminals; the practice of probation is forgiving when it comes to keeping the crime private and sparing the embarrassment of imprisonment.
3. protects the society- probation ensures close supervision is placed on criminals while they undergo rehabilitation. This helps to minimize the criminal activities in the community and make sure the security of community members is maintained.
4. Reformation- probation provides first and light offenders with the opportunity for reformation. This prevents them from turning into hardened and dangerous criminals.
5. Makes offenders productive- offenders are allowed to go back to the community; this, in turn, allows them to be productive compared to when they are behind bars. It makes offenders taxpayers other than tax-eaters.
6. Issues of overcrowding are solved through probation, and the population can be managed.
Cons of Probation
1. Increased risk to the society- this practice allows criminals to mingle with the community members easily; this increases the risk of criminals committing another crime.
2. Increased crime rate- probation is always viewed by many as a lack of punishment. This leads to an increase in the crime rate since the no heavy punishment directed to the offenders.
3. Risks of probation officers- this practice poses serious safety risks to probation officers’ lives as they freely meet with offenders. They may end killing them or doing something else.
4. Lack of reformation- punishment is the central theme of the justice process, and therefore, when probation type of sentence is applied, there is minimal or no punishment. This may make the criminals not realize their mistakes, and thus, they will not be reformed.
5. Denial of some rights- the court’s orders to the person on probation may undermine his human. For instance, the victim may be restricted from moving to other villages and associating with community members.
6. Not a good way of solving crimes- crimes are considered a way of encouraging crimes, and therefore, it is not the best way to solve crimes in society.