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Mission and Justice - Clarifying Probation's Legal Context (From Probation and Justice, P 39-63, 1984, Patrick D McAnany et al, ed. - See NCJ-97157)

NCJ Number
P D McAnany
Date Published
25 pages
In contrast to the traditional conception of probation as a form of rehabilitation, the justice approach to probation views it as a penal sanction requiring that it fit the principles of due process of law.
This approach thus dictates that the structure and application of probation reflect the general purposes of the criminal law. Recent debate has changed these goals< to reflect a justice orientation. The reformed sentencing codes have three related sets of mechanisms: classification of offenses, gradation of penalties, and control of discretion in applying penalties to offenses. If probation were reformed to fit this context, it would change with respect to the goal served, the nature of the penal status, and its nonconditional nature. Probation would be a penal sanction, as in fact it already is. Some hard work and imagination would make it possible to design a just desert probation that would be both punitive and determinate. The third criterion, the nonconditional nature of probation, however, presents a major practical problem in enforcement. Nevertheless, if the sentence is clear in what it demands of the offender, probation can be enforced. Sixty-eight references are listed.


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