A probation department works with court offenders and victims to ensure that the offender completes the requirements of his sentence and discourages offenders from becoming serious and repeat offenders, explains the Suffolk County Probation Department. Probation departments also address juvenile crimes and work with youth at risk.
Probation is a conditional court order that places an offender under some type of monitored surveillance for a certain period of time, according to an attorney writing for Avvo. The court order outlines the rules to which the offender must adhere, such as meeting regularly with his probation officer, staying away from certain people or attending rehab. Probation can last anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the severity of the offense and the criminal record of the offender.
If the offender does not adhere to the terms of his probation, he usually faces additional punishment, as the attorney explains. The severity of the additional punishment is dependent upon the severity of his failure to adhere to the probation rules during his probationary period. Additional punishment for violating probation includes extended community service, fines or incarceration. Offenders may also see extended probation times or be ordered to return to treatment or counseling programs.