Felony Probation in America Explained
The probation accorded to an individual who has been convicted of an act of a felony is known as felony probation. In other words, it is a special probation program that is designed for severe crimes. Hence, these probations are supervised, as well as structured in a more organized manner.
Objectives of felony probation
A person sent on felony probation may reside in a community rather than serving their sentence in imprisonment. However, the freedom of such a probationer is curtailed, and they have to follow certain conditions and rules as determined by the court. The felony probationer can be asked to report to a probationary officer regularly, for instance, participate in compulsory meetings, stop having contact with their previous criminal associates, and limit their area of travel.
While the period of probation may vary from one state to another, typically the period can last up to 5 years. As probation is a kind of a criminal sentence, the country's criminal justice system always supervises it closely. People serving felony probation are to follow a clean existence typically.
Thus, if any law is violated by a probationer while serving a probation period, the same can be revered, and they may be sent to imprisonment.
As any felony probation is concerned with more severe charges, the intent or objective of sending a person on felony probation is not simply to collect revenue or a fine for the nation. Rather the goal of felony probation is to typically concentrate on rehabilitation and prevention of a repeat offense by the same person.
The aim is to ensure that when adequate boundaries are in place and the rehabilitation of a defendant happens, the community becomes safer, as well as, takes leverage from a productive society member. To fulfill these goals, felony probations are made more stringent as compared to lower level probations.
Felony probation-restrictions and felony probation violation
Felony probations are harsher in comparison to traffic probation or minor wrongdoings. As such, hours to be spent at community service and fines in felony probations are typically higher in comparison to those of minor wrongdoing probations.
- Defendants are typically asked to report to one of the probation offers at least once every month.
- In case of more severe charges of felony, the defendant may be supervised more intensively. It could lead to meeting a probationary officer every week, as well as, being monitored electronically.
- Felony offenders can also be assessed for programs that could help in his/her rehabilitation. These programs may be related to rehab programs for alcohol/drug, courses on life skills, sex offender counseling, and anger management.
While misdemeanor probations can also include similar programs, these are fewer in number as compared to felony programs as the former serves a smaller sentence, which is typically from 6 months to 2 years. As felony probations typically feature long term objectives for rehabilitation, they are of a longer duration, ideally from 2-10 years based on how severe an offense is.
Texas, for instance, runs a SAFP program in which a defendant has to stay in a facility. They cannot leave unless completing the counseling program on alcohol or drug successfully. In case the court gets a feeling that the person concerned is not giving full effort towards his/her rehab programs, they can make the defendant serve imprisonment in any county jail. Such incarceration periods are typically referred to as sanctions, However, they are informally known as jail therapies. Although the prison sentence of a defendant is suspended, they need to realize that there are other ways through which the court can put them into confinement.