less than 1 minute read

The Early Years of American Law

Probation And Parole

Along with growth of prison systems new measures, such as probation and parole, were introduced. Probation is imposing a criminal sentence other than jail or prison time for persons convicted of less serious crimes. The convicted person would be under court supervision but otherwise free. The person might be restricted from travel or other daily activities and had to check in with a court-appointed official to evaluate his or her progress. Probation had its beginnings in Boston in the 1850s. The more common use of probation, to sentence less serious crimes committed by both adults and juveniles, did not arrive until around 1900.

Parole is a decision to release an inmate before the end of his or her sentence. It was first introduced in New York in 1876, but it would not become widely used until the 1930s when tough economic times cut funding for prisons.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawThe Early Years of American Law - Colonial Freedom, Britain's Push For Greater Control, A New Start, A New Criminal Court System