Probation is a scenario where an offender instead of being taken to serve real time in prison, is allowed to go about his or her daily activities under supervision by the court. It has become a common ruling nowadays especially if the jury has faith that the offender might be able to show good during the period of supervision (Doherty, 2015). It is common in cases of accidental crimes or minor crimes. This paper seeks to explore an incident where the probation of a man who caused the death of a high school student seeks to be revoked.
A probation officer can decide to seek the revocation of a client's probation due to a number of reasons. Theories that can underlie such a decision include: First if the offender commits another crime and new charges are pressed (Doherty, 2015). Secondly, if the offender is proved to have indulged in intoxication such as when the results of urinalysis turn out positive for drugs. This is one allegation that the 20-year-old Jonathan Benitez faces in the case seeking the withdrawal of his probation (YouTube, 2018). Thirdly, skipping the scheduled appointments. Lastly, if the offender is found with ownership of arms or found to have violated any other special condition that was stated by the jury. In Jonathan's case, he was also alleged to have insulted a family member and therefore a case seeking to revoke his probation was taken to court by District Attorney's office and the Director of Jefferson County Probation.
The probation officer thinks of seeking to revoke a client's probation having certain goals in mind. The first goal is having the jury revisit the original crime committed and give a new ruling to the case (Sorsby, Shapland & Robinson, 2017). In Jonathan's case from the video, the jury could revisit the original case where the prosecutor had suggested that he be given a jail sentence because of his recklessness and the way the teenager died. This means he could be facing a sentence of 10 years in prison (YouTube, 2018). Another goal is to allow the hearing of the new crimes committed by the offender for the judge to give his or her ruling on it, in consideration of the offender's conduct during the probation period. Another goal is to ensure that the offender pays for his or her initial crime the hard way now that the less harsh way has failed to work.
The probation officer in order to be successful in his attempt to seek revocation of a probation should look for information about the offender's daily conducts. With this, there can be proof of violent activities or use of firearms (Sorsby, Shapland & Robinson, 2017). The officer should also seek information about the hung out places that the offender likes, what he or she does in those places and any arrests made by the police for minor offenses (Doherty, 2015). In case the officer gets positive feedback from the police concerning minor offenses, this can influence the decision to revoke the probation and the offender could face a jail term. In the video, if the accusations of assault to a family member by Jonathan and intoxication claims are proven in court, he could face a 10-year jail sentence (YouTube, 2018).
Probation is always taken as a serious issue especially in high profile cases and when the rules of it are broken, the legal teams always take upon themselves to seek its revocation.
Doherty, F. (2015). Obey all laws and be good: Probation and the meaning of recidivism. Geo. LJ, 104, 291.
Sorsby, A., Shapland, J., & Robinson, G. (2017). Using compliance with probation supervision as an interim outcome measure in evaluating a probation initiative. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 17(1), 40-61.
YouTube. (2018). Probation revocation hearing reset for man who caused wreck that killed teenage high school student. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zgJCs3Buus [Accessed 19 Apr. 2018].
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