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From the Inside: The Meaning of Probation to Probationers.

Applegate, Brandon K
June 4, 2015

Source: (2009) Criminal Justice Review. 34(1): 80-95.

Beyond considerations of relative punitiveness, very little is known about how offenders understand the experience of serving a probation sentence. The current study surveyed offenders currently on probation to assess the extent to which they believed their sentence was rehabilitative, incapacitative, deserved, and a deterrent to future offending. Perceptions that probation served no purpose and that it represented a game of manipulation and impression management were also investigated. The results showed that most probationers believed that their sentence was a deterrent, and it was rehabilitative and deserved. They also felt that probation
served multiple purposes, and a minority of respondents perceived that there was no point to being on probation. The implications of these findings are discussed. (author’s abstract) In discussing offender attitudes toward public safety and probation, the authors state that those on probation could benefit from a restorative process with victims.


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