Probation comes from the Latin verb probare which means to prove, to rest.
Probation was first introduced to the United States in 1841 when a boot-maker by the name of John Augustus attended court to bail out a drunkard. This offender was released to the custody of Mr. Augustus making him the first true probation officer, the offender was told to return to court in three weeks time for sentencing. During the time the offender was in the custody of Mr. Augustus he cleaned up his appearance and demeanor. Mr. Augustus had the belief that abusers of alcohol could be rehabilitated through the use of understanding, kindness, and sustained moral suasion not convictions and jail sentences. His beliefs were based on his affiliation with the Washington Total Abstinence Society, they abstained from alcohol. Augustus was a volunteer probation officer for 18 years. He began the practice of evaluating the prospective probationers paying close attention to whether the candidate would prove to be a successful candidate for probation. Things that were considered in a successful candidate were the character, age, and influences, those influences could be people, places or things.
The first probation statute was first enacted 1859. The administration of the probation system varies from one state to another, some combine probation and parole.
Parole comes from the French word parole which means to give one's word of honor or promise.
The credit for establishing the early parole system goes to Alexander Maconochie who was in charge of the English penal colony at Norfolk Island, off the coast of... [continues]
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