Probation refers to the correctional method under which convicted offenders are supervised in the community instead of imprisonment, or after a period of imprisonment has been served.¹ The theory of probation comes from a long-standing tradition in Anglo-American courts to suspend judgement in certain cases and provide a second chance for first offenders. Probation is an option for sentencing when the offender has committed certain categories of crimes.¹ Probation services take the responsibility of preparing presentence reports, which focus on the accused's background. Reports, depending on the crime and the background of the offender, may suggest the offender make restitution to the victim, or perform some type of community service.¹
Parole, understood as a process of conditional release, is derived from the French term parole d'honneur, meaning "word of honour."¹ The purpose of conditional release is to contribute to the maintenance of a just, peaceful, and safe society.¹ It manages timing and conditions of release of prisoners in a way that will best facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration into the community as law-abiding citizens.¹ There are two criteria to consider for granting parole, which include the assessment of whether the prisoner will present an undue risk to society while on parole by re-offender, and whether the release of the prisoner will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating their reintegration into the community as a law-abiding citizen.
1. The Canadian Encyclopedia. Probation and Parole. Retrieved May 7, 2014, from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/probation-and-parole/