Probation: a note
Probation gives the prisoners the chance to mend their ways by spending productive time in society. The judge awards the probation sentence only when the offender is deemed capable of performing the tasks in a peaceful manner.
Arkansas Probation laws
The Arkansas probation laws state ‘Probation’ as when a judge puts the offender under a probation officer and not direct him to the prison. Conditions of probation entails, simple rules like payment of compensation, staying away from drugs, being drug tested, acquiring a job and maintaining the same, reporting regularly to an officer, etc. Most of the times, Probation is awarded to first time offenders, that is people who do not have a criminal record.
It is the Arkansas Department of Community Correction (DCC) that manages probation. One of its main tasks is to look after the functioning of the Arkansas probation offices. The main duty of these offices is to supervise the offenders who are on probation.
Under basic supervision guidelines, the offenders stay at home but within some restrictions. These offenders are then categorized into three divisions – low, medium or maximum levels of supervision. This classification is done with the aid of a risk assessment tool.
The function of the Arkansas probation officers include gathering information about the offender, analyzing the needs and risks of the offender. He is also supposed to resolve the problems through proper counseling and other necessary processes.
Arkansas Probation Revocation
If the probationer violates the terms and conditions of the Arkansas probation sentence, the judge would revoke the probation sentence and issue a warrant. Depending upon the magnitude of the violation, the judge might order imprisonment for the rest of the probation period or a part of it. It is through a Probation Revocation Hearing, that the judge comes to a decision whether the offender has violated the conditions or not.
Arkansas Probation Records
The Arkansas Crime Victim Information and Notification System helps track the present status of an offender and his or her criminal records. Anyone can not only get status update on an offender but also can register so that he gets notification of events with regard to a particular offender. It is popularly known as VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) system. Arkansas was the first state in the US to implement this system. The system is open 24X7.
Arkansas Adult Parole/Probation Association (AAPPA)
This is a non-profit but a professional organization that serves as a common platform for the Arkansas Probation/Parole Officers as well as other members of the Criminal Justice System. In 1979, the first Constitution of AAPPA took shape. Conferences are held twice a year. It has around 350 members. The various objectives of AAPPA are exchange of ideas and information, adopting professional standards for probation officers, promoting legislation for improving community supervision for adults, cooperating with all agencies that are inclined towards advancement of probation and parole objectives and raise awareness and acceptance in public for community supervision as an effective means of prevention, and reduction of criminal behaviors.