This FAQ is intended to give a brief overview of common questions related to probation. In no way should the answers herein be regarded as legal advice. If you need legal advice on a matter, please contact an attorney.
As we receive more questions, we may update this page. Please check back frequently.
Probation is a court-order through which an offender is placed under control, supervision, and care of a probation field staff member in lieu of imprisonment, so long as the probation meets certain standards of conduct.
Parole refers to the term of supervision that occurs once offenders are conditionally released to the community after serving a prison term. Parolees are subject to being returned to jail or prison for rule violations or other offenses. Currently, CCJ does not supervise parolees.
The easy answer to who should be placed on probation is that most non-violent offenders are good candidates for probation. However, there are no easy answers. Many jurisdictions have a variety of offenders on probation (e.g., property offenders, domestic abusers, felony offenders, and misdemeanor offenders). It all boils down to what is the capacity of the individual jurisdiction, what will the community tolerate, state statutes, resource availability, etc. How well someone does on probation depends on how well the offenders needs are assessed, how well they are supervised and what resources the agency has available to assist in their supervision and rehabilitation. The motivation of the offender is also a factor that has to be considered.
Community justice requires focusing on community partnerships to meet the needs of victims and citizens, hold offenders accountable, and to provide prevention programs for a safe community. For community justice initiatives to be effective, there must be a system of open and active communication, cooperation, and collaboration.
Deferred judgment is a sentencing option whereby both the adjudication of guilt and the imposition of a sentence are deferred by the court. The court retains the power to pronounce judgment and impose sentence subject to the defendant’s compliance with conditions set by the court as a requirement of the deferred judgment.
Citation: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
The goal of probation is to rehabilitate the offender while keeping the public safe from further offenses. In 2009, 92% of probation clients successfully complete their probation. Historically, 85% – 87% of probation clients that successfully complete their probation do not re-offend within the following year. More information may be found on our statistics page.
Probation terms are court-ordered. For a person to successfully complete probation, they must complete all requirements of the court-order. Probation officers may impose additional restrictions they feel are reasonable and will aid in the rehabilitation of their client.