From Justice Definitions Project

What is Probation?

Probation is a non-institutional method of dealing with offenders who instead of being imprisoned are let out subject to some conditions set by the court. These conditions usually include good conduct and proper behavior.[1] The offenders who are low-risk offenders who do not pose a very serious threat to the society and are often capable of rehabilitation. Depending on the nature of the offense, probation is generally of two types. The offender’s jail time can either be shortened and he/she can be let out on probation after serving some time in jail or he/she can go on probation at the very beginning instead of going to jail.[2]

Official Definition of Probation

This section discusses ‘probation’ as defined in different legislations, case laws, reports and other official documents.

The term ‘probation’ is not as such defined in any of the Acts. Similar to what its dictionary meaning is, it is a ‘trial period’ for the offenders who are given a chance to rehabilitate subject to good behavior. Some reports and case laws have defined probation and the procedure has been explained in detail, in the Code of Criminal Procedure, (now the Bharatiya Nyaya Suraksha Sanhita 2023) which applies to cases involving a wide range of cases. The procedure has also been explained in certain other Acts like the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 which deal with specific nature of cases.

Legal Provisions Related to Probation

Code of Criminal Procedure and the BNSS 2023

Section 360 and 361 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Section 401 and 402 of the BNSS) talks about probation and the conditions the courts are supposed to consider before deciding whether to release the convict on probation or not. The individual who is being released should either be under the age of twenty-one years and guilty of an offense punishable by a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of seven years, or under twenty-one or a woman guilty of an offense not warranting death or life imprisonment and there is no prior conviction against the offender. Apart from this, factors such as the age of the offender, his/her character, antecedents, and the circumstances of the offense are to be considered before releasing the person on probation of good conduct. If any first offender is convicted by a Magistrate of the second class and it is not empowered by the High Court then the Magistrate has to record his opinion and why he thinks that the offender should be released and transfer the proceedings before the Magistrate of the first class who will then dispose off the case as per the procedure laid down by the section. The Magistrate of the first class can then either pass a sentence or release the offender on probation or order for further enquiry.

In cases where the person has been convicted of theft, dishonest misappropriation, cheating, or any other offense under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (now Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023), punishable with not more than two years,, imprisonment or any offense punishable with fine only and no previous conviction is proven against him, the Court before which he is so convicted, may, if it thinks fit, having regard to the age, character, antecedents or physical or mental condition of the offender, instead of sentencing him to any punishment, release him after due admonition.

The court can also grant probation or set aside an order of probation while exercising its powers of revision. In cases involving sureties, before releasing an offender, the court must ensure that the offender or their surety has a fixed place of abode or regular occupation in the relevant jurisdiction.

If an offender fails to observe the conditions of the recognizance, the convicting court or the court with jurisdiction may issue a warrant for their apprehension. The apprehended offender must be brought before the issuing court, which can either remand them in custody or admit them to bail until the case is heard, after which the court may pass sentence.

This section does not affect the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, or any other applicable law for the treatment, training, or rehabilitation of youthful offenders.[3]

Section 361 of the Act (or Section 401 of the BNSS) directs the courts which could have dealt with accused persons under Section 360 or any other provisions or Acts which provide for probation but has not done so to record special reasons for the same in the judgment.[4]

Probation of Offenders Act, 1958

The Probation Act was enacted to facilitate the release of offenders on probation or after due admonition, along with related matters. It contains provisions akin to those in the Code of Criminal Procedure but also introduces additional regulations regarding probation. It encompasses detailed provisions regarding the probation of offenders, which are applicable nationwide. The Act offers four alternative approaches for handling youthful and other offenders instead of traditional sentencing, provided certain conditions are met. These approaches comprise: (1) Release after admonition; (2) Release upon entering a bond for good conduct, with or without supervision, and upon payment of compensation and costs to the victim as ordered by the court. Courts have the authority to modify bond conditions and impose fines if the offender fails to comply. (3) Individuals under twenty-one years of age cannot be sentenced to imprisonment without the court seeking a probation officer's report or documenting reasons in writing for an alternative decision. (4) Offenders released on probation are not subject to disqualifications associated with convictions under other laws.[5]

Probation based on good conduct

Section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 addresses the release of offenders based on their good conduct, constituting a pivotal aspect of the Act. Section 4 does not apply if the offense carries a penalty of death or life imprisonment. The court must assess the circumstances of the case, encompassing the nature of the offense and the character of the offender. The court may issue a supervision order for the release of the offender on probation, with a supervisory period lasting no less than one year, during which a probation officer must oversee the individual. The supervision order should specify the probation officer's name. The court may require the offender to execute a bond, with or without sureties, to appear and receive sentence when called upon during a period not exceeding three years. Conditions may be imposed in the supervision order, and the court must explain these terms to the offender. The supervision order should promptly be provided to the offender. The court, while applying Section 4, has to take into account the severity of the offense and individual circumstances.[6] For instance, in cases involving heinous crimes like abduction and rape, courts have refused probation based on the gravity of the offense.[7] Conversely, in situations where the court deems it appropriate considering the defendant's conduct and the nature of the offense, probation may be granted after thorough evaluation of the circumstances.

Role of Probation Officers

Probation officers, appointed by the State Government or recognized societies, play a crucial role in the implementation of the Act. They conduct inquiries into the circumstances of accused persons, supervise probationers, assist in compensation payments, and fulfill other prescribed duties. These officers are considered public servants. According to the Act, the role of Probation Officers is multifaceted and crucial in facilitating the implementation of probationary measures. Their duties and functions as specified in the Act are as follows:

  1. Conducting Inquiries: Probation Officers are tasked with conducting inquiries into various aspects of the accused person's life, including their character, antecedents, and home surroundings. These inquiries are aimed at providing the court with comprehensive information to assist in making informed decisions regarding probation.
  2. Submitting Reports: Upon completion of their inquiries, Probation Officers are required to submit a pre-sentence enquiry report to the concerned court. This report, often prepared in Form-II as prescribed by the Act, assists the court in understanding the circumstances surrounding the offender and determining the appropriate course of action under Section 3 or Section 4 of the Act.
  3. Supervising Probationers: Once an individual is placed on probation, Probation Officers are responsible for supervising their activities and behavior. This supervision aims to ensure that probationers comply with the conditions set by the court and make positive progress towards rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
  4. Progress Reporting: Probation Officers must regularly submit reports on the progress of probationers under their supervision to the relevant court. These reports, typically provided on a monthly or quarterly basis and prepared in Form-IV, allow the court to monitor the probationer's compliance and assess their rehabilitation progress.
  5. Assisting with Compensation and Costs: Probation Officers play a role in advising and assisting probationers with fulfilling any compensation payments or costs ordered by the court as part of their probationary conditions.
  6. Facilitating Employment Opportunities: In cases where necessary, Probation Officers are expected to make efforts to secure suitable employment opportunities for probationers under their supervision. This aspect aims to support the offender's rehabilitation and successful reintegration into society.
  7. Record-Keeping and Administrative Tasks: Probation Officers are required to maintain various records, including daily diaries, probationers' case files, and other relevant registers. These records help track the progress of probationers and ensure compliance with the Act's provisions.

Additionally, Probation Officers are mandated to perform any other duties as may be prescribed under the Act or related regulations. This provision ensures flexibility in addressing the diverse needs of probationers and the effective implementation of probationary measures.[8]

Court Proceedings and Probation Orders:

Section 4 of the Act mandates that courts, when deciding on the continuation of an individual’s probation period, must consider confidential reports from the probation officer. Courts also have the authority to modify the conditions of an offender's bond upon the application of a probation officer. The Act empowers courts to appoint probation officers and direct them to supervise offenders placed on probation. Courts, upon releasing an offender on probation, may issue simultaneous orders for the payment of compensation for any loss or injury caused by the offense. The amount of the compensation depends purely on the discretion of the court.[9] This compensation, determined by the court, can be collected as a fine through relevant criminal procedure code procedures. Civil courts handling related suits must consider any compensation paid when determining damages.

Sentencing and Appellate Jurisdiction:

Section 6 requires courts to record reasons for sentencing individuals under twenty-one years of age who are eligible for probation. Orders under the Act can be issued not only by trial courts but also by higher courts in appeal or revision cases. Appellate courts may examine cases where the original court declined to apply probation provisions. However, they cannot impose harsher punishments than the original court.

Disqualification and Government Rules:

Persons dealt with under the Act for an offense are not subject to disqualifications attached to convictions under other laws. However, if subsequently sentenced for the original offense, this provision does not apply. The State Government, with Central Government approval, can establish rules covering various aspects of the Act's implementation, including probation officer appointments, duties, and remuneration.

Relation to Other Laws:

The Act does not supersede provisions related to reformatory schools, juvenile offenders, or Borstal Schools. Section 562 of the Code ceases to apply in areas where this Act is enforced, subject to section 18 provisions.

Rules made by different States

Section 17 of the Act permits the government of the States, with the approval of the Central Government, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to further the objective of this Act. The following are some of the states that have made some rules in this regard:

  1. Punjab[10]
  2. Kerala[11]
  3. Orissa[12]
  4. Goa[13]
  5. Uttarakhand[14]
  6. Tripura[15]

JJ Act, 2015

This act specifically deals with juvenile offenders and grant of probation to them. Section 13 of the Act states that the probation officer should be informed of the arrest of a juvenile for an offense so that information relevant to the inquiry can be found out about the juvenile.

Section 15 of the Act deals with grant of probation to the juvenile after the completion of the enquiry. The remaining rules with respect to probation are the same as the general provisions on probation.

Case laws relating to probation

The following are some of the case laws which laid down the principles with regard to probation:

Jugal Kishore Prasad v. State of Bihar[16]

The court ruled in this case that the benefit of section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act is only applicable to a person found guilty of having committed an offense not punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

Chhanni v. State of Uttar Pradesh[17]

The court held that where the provisions of the Probation Act are applicable, the employment of Section 360 of the Criminal Procedure Code is not to be made. In cases of such application, it would be an illegality resulting in highly undesirable consequences, which the legislature, that gave birth to the Probation Act and the Code, wanted to obviate. The provisions of the Probation Act have an importance of their own.

In Re: Policy strategy for grant of bail, Suo motu Writ Petition (Criminal) No.4/2021, decided on 14-09-2022[18]

In this case, the court provided some suggestions with respect to probation and remission of sentences of the prisoners. They gave suggestions not only for a post-identification stage of a case fit for probation but also suggests selection of courts of judicial magistrate 1st class, chief judicial magistrate or Additional CJM, and Court of Sessions in each district to identify cases pending at pre-trial stage and where the accused is charge sheeted/ charged with offenses with a maximum of 7 years’ imprisonment and exclude cases mentioned in Section 265-A Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC), namely offenses notified by the Central Government vide notification dated 11.07.2006 or offenses committed against women or child/ children less than 14 years.  These identified cases will then be considered for being disposed off under the provisions of the Probation of Offenders Act and the case of only first time offenders will be taken up. Subsequently the court must let the accused know his rights under the Act and assist him with any other information he/she requires in this regard. The court also provided a timeline for this whole process. The court also provided suggestions with regard to cases where remission of sentence can be granted.

Masarullah v. State of Tamil Nadu[19]  

The court found that the trial court had incorrectly assessed the age of the convict, and there was no examination conducted between the grant of probation under the Probation of Offenders Act and the statutory minimum sentence of 7 years as per Section 397 IPC (related to robbery or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt). Despite being charged under these sections, the appellants were allowed the benefit of Sections 4 and 6 of the Probation of Offenders Act.

Ramamurthy vs State of Karnataka[20]

The release of an individual on probation under the Probation of Offenders Act results in the suspension of the sentence. This means that instead of serving the full sentence in prison, the individual is released under certain conditions, such as maintaining good conduct during the probationary period. Failure to adhere to these conditions may result in the person being sent back to prison. Magistrates must take into account several factors, including the nature and seriousness of the offense committed, as well as the potential for the offender to be rehabilitated. This means that judges cannot grant probation indiscriminately but must make a reasoned decision based on the specific circumstances of each case.

Chandreshwar Sharma vs State of Bihar[21]

The case concluded that courts are obligated to record specific reasons in their judgment if they decide not to grant the benefit of Section 360 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) to an accused, particularly when the case could have been appropriately handled under that section. Secondly, the Supreme Court directed the release of the appellant on probation of good conduct, with the condition of entering into a bond with one surety, requiring them to appear and receive the sentence when called upon within a one-year period.

Om Prakash & Ors. vs State of Haryana[22]  

In cases of convictions under Sections 323, 325 read with 148/149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), particularly when the offense occurred a considerable time ago, and where the appellants exhibited good conduct during their time in jail, it is deemed appropriate for the appellate court to consider invoking Section 360 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.).

Public Prosecutor v. N.S. Murthy[23]

The conduct of the accused immediately after the occurrence and throughout the trial is a crucial factor to be considered when determining whether to grant probation under Section 4(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958. In this particular case, despite being convicted under a lesser charge of causing simple injury (Section 323 of IPC) instead of murder, the accused’s conduct, characterized by his failure to admit guilt, fleeing the scene, and showing no remorse afterward, indicated a lack of good character. As a result, the court held that the accused was not entitled to the benefit of probation under the Act.

Appearance in Official Databases

Prison Statistics India

The Prison Statistics Report published by the National Crime Records Bureau provides some data with respect to the no. of probation officers appointed by different states and the infrastructure lacking, if any. The same is available on the official website of the National Crime Records Bureau.[24]

Snapshot of the official website of NCRB
A snapshot of the Data

Research that engages with Probation

  1. Maharashtra’s probation system oriented towards rehabilitation of offenders is in shambles:[25] The article delves into the deterioration of the probation system within Maharashtra over the years. It highlights administrative shortcomings, including vacancies and excessive administrative duties, which have undermined the effectiveness of probation officers. This has resulted in erratic implementation across districts, with some areas showing minimal effort in utilizing probation measures. Probation officers face significant challenges, including heavy workloads, inadequate training, and insufficient resources, hindering their ability to fulfill their responsibilities effectively. Consequently, the decline in the probation system's efficacy has significant implications for offender rehabilitation, potentially leading to overcrowded prisons and missed opportunities for reform. Overall, the article emphasizes the urgent need to address these issues to revitalize the probation system and improve outcomes for both offenders and society as a whole.
  2. Probation - The Law and Practice in India:[26] The article delves into the complex intersection between legislative policy and the practical application of probation measures in India. It highlights concerns regarding the extension of probation to certain offenses, particularly those related to public health and safety, such as food adulteration. The discussion underscores the need for a redefinition of legislative policy to align with established principles of probation, emphasizing the importance of supervision and proper case selection. Furthermore, it advocates for a shift in budgetary allocations towards strengthening probation services to effectively address the needs of offenders and protect society and emphasizes the urgency of legislative action to ensure the proper growth and development of the probation system in India, urging for reforms that prioritize both rehabilitation and societal safety.
  3. Probation Officer's Investigation Report in the Realm of Criminal Judicial Administration:[27] The article discusses the evolving role of probation in the reformation and rehabilitation of offenders. It emphasizes individualized treatment, the importance of probation officers' reports, and the need for comprehensive understanding of offenders' backgrounds. Additionally, it addresses shortcomings in India's probation system and proposes solutions for improvement, including increased funding and involvement of voluntary probation officers from the community.
  4. A Study of Some Social Consequences of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958:[28] The article discusses the implications of the Rattan Lai v. State of Punjab decision on the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958. While the decision extended protection to young offenders convicted before the Act's enforcement, it raises concerns about administrative challenges, speculative litigation, and legal complexities. Critiques include inadequacies in the decision's reasoning and ambiguities in applying the Act retroactively. The article suggests a practical interpretation of the Act to avoid delays and legal complications. It acknowledges the decision's potential for reforming young offenders but emphasizes the need for uniform application across states and minor amendments to clarify provisions. Overall, the article highlights the importance of balancing benevolent intentions with practical implementation to ensure the Act's effectiveness.
  5. Law of Probation in India with Special Reference to Uttar Pradesh:[29] The article discusses the profound impact of crime statistics, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, emphasizing the escalating numbers of convictions over the years. It critiques traditional theories of punishment, highlighting their inadequacy in curbing crime and fostering societal reintegration. The shift towards rehabilitation and reformation emerges as a central theme, underlining the necessity of addressing underlying issues driving criminal behavior. Probation emerges as a pivotal aspect of modern penology, offering a humane and pragmatic approach to offender rehabilitation. The article advocates for a holistic understanding of offenders, recognizing them as potential victims of societal maladies rather than irredeemable criminals. It calls for a shift in perspective towards rehabilitation, citing examples of successful interventions and the need for ongoing research and development in the field of penology to better address the complexities of criminal behavior.
  6. Examination of Social Investigation of Probation Officer in Cases Relating to Alleged Offenses Committed By Juveniles in Conflict with Law:[30] The article explores the historical treatment of juveniles in legal systems and addresses the recent increase in juvenile crimes. The article emphasizes the need for progressive legislation, such as the Juvenile Justice Acts in India, and underscores the role of social investigation reports in understanding the circumstances surrounding juvenile offenses. While acknowledging the importance of these reports, it also cautions against their potential flaws and emphasizes the necessity of vigilant management to protect the welfare and rights of children. Overall, the article advocates for a well-thought-out juvenile justice system aligned with legal objectives to uphold child rights effectively.
  7. Probation and Parole Legal Flaws: A Comparative Study in U.S. and India:[31] The article explores the significance of probation and parole as alternative methods of reforming offenders, highlighting their implementation and legal frameworks in the US and India. It discusses the historical development of these methods and their effectiveness in reducing prison populations. Despite their potential benefits, the article identifies various challenges and flaws in their application, particularly regarding biased reporting and inadequate supervision. The paper suggests several recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of probation and parole systems, including legislative amendments, improved training for probation officers, and ensuring non-discriminatory practices in granting parole. Ultimately, the article emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the judiciary and administration to achieve successful rehabilitation of offenders and calls for comprehensive reforms to realize the true potential of probation and parole in promoting reformation within the criminal justice system.

International Experiences

United Kingdom

The principal legislation dictating probation in the UK is the Offender Management Act 2007, which establishes the legal foundation for probation services, specifying the responsibilities of both the probation service and the offender. The Offender Management Act 2007 represents a significant legal enactment in UK law, introducing changes in the management of offenders by amalgamating the efforts of probation and prisons through integrated regional offender managers. Another pivotal legislation related to probation is the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which brought forth new community sentences and mandated that probation conditions must be proportionate to the nature of the offense. Key components of the criminal justice probation framework include the assessment and planning phase, the implementation of conditions, the monitoring and enforcement of probation, and established procedures for addressing breaches of conditions. Observing probation conditions and requirements in the country plays a significant role in the offender's rehabilitation process and societal reintegration.[32]

There are two different kinds of probation orders that can be granted in the UK; a suspended sentence order probation and a post-imprisonment license Probation. In the first kind, the offender is not sent to the prison at all and directly granted probation subject to the conditions and requirements. The second order relates to orders issued to individuals released from jail before their sentence term, provided that they adhere to specific conditions.

The rules in this respect are mostly the same as that in India. For example, if the offender fails to adhere to the conditions set by the court, it leads to a breach of probation, and they may be required to face the original sentence. The country specifically lays a lot of emphasis on the conditions of probation which are designed on a case-by-case basis. These conditions are basically requirements which are set as part of a probation sentence to govern the conduct of offenders and ensure public safety. Subject to the fulfillment of these conditions, the courts decide whether the offenders should be released or not.

Probation is granted to relatively less serious offenses, unlike a parole, which is granted in case of serious offenses.

Probation serves dual purposes within the UK's criminal justice system. It not only facilitates the process of offender rehabilitation but also ensures the protection of society. The impacts and legal consequences of probation are therefore far-reaching, affecting not just the legal trajectory of an offender, but also their social standing and personal growth.[33]

United States

The United States’ probation system has evolved through key legislative acts. The Probation Act of 1925 established probation in federal courts, allowing the suspension of sentences and placing defendants on probation with specified conditions. In 1974, the Speedy Trial Act initiated pretrial services agencies in ten districts to reduce crime and unnecessary pretrial detention. The Pretrial Services Act of 1982 expanded these services nationwide, offering each district an evaluation period to integrate pretrial services into the probation office. These acts have shaped a comprehensive federal probation and pretrial services system, aiding in offender management from arrest to community supervision. Probation for offenses prosecuted in state courts is governed by state law. Each state has its own statutes, rules of criminal procedure, and probation departments or agencies responsible for administering probation services. These state laws and agencies oversee the assessment, supervision, and rehabilitation of individuals placed on probation for state offenses.[34]

There are over 2,000 independent probation agencies in the United States, each operating under distinct state and federal regulations. Within the broader realm of probation, six separate systems exist: juvenile probation, municipal probation, county probation, state probation, state combined probation and parole, and federal probation. Each state concurrently employs more than one of these systems, managed either by a single central agency, various local agencies, or a combination of both. Moreover, probation can be administered through either the executive or judiciary branch of government. Executive branch-administered probation agencies may be part of the broader state correctional system or function independently. On the other hand, judicially administered probation agencies operate directly under the court system. Regardless of the administrative structure, probation agencies are responsible for ensuring compliance with the conditions of supervision like that in other countries.

In addition to their supervisory role, probation agencies also undertake an investigative function for the courts. Acting on the directives of the criminal court, probation officers prepare presentence investigation (PSI) reports to furnish the sentencing court with comprehensive information about the offender and the circumstances surrounding their case like that in India. A typical PSI includes details about the offender's background, past criminal history, details of the offense, personal and family situations, personality, needs, risk level, a summary of permissible sentencing options, and a recommendation for disposition. If incarceration is advised, the probation officer suggests a suitable sentence length; for probation recommendations, the officer proposes both sentence length and the conditions to be imposed. Generally, judges have a broad array of options for handling criminal cases, including suspending a sentence, imposing fines, ordering restitution, mandating community supervision, or incarcerating the offender. The PSI is crafted to assist the judge in making a well-informed decision, considering the offender's needs and community safety.[35]

In the United States, various types of probation cater to the specific circumstances of offenders and community needs. Unsupervised probation, also known as court or informal probation, is typically granted to first-time or minor offenders. It doesn't necessitate regular meetings with a probation officer or impose special conditions, requiring primarily the payment of fines and a commitment to law-abiding conduct during the probationary period, usually lasting 12 to 18 months.

On the other hand, supervised probation, or formal probation, is assigned to repeat offenders or those involved in more serious crimes. This form mandates regular meetings with a probation officer and may include specific conditions like attending counseling sessions or completing community service. Some individuals on supervised probation might be required to wear an electronic monitoring device. Community control represents the most stringent probation type, akin to a form of non-physical incarceration. Offenders under community control wear a 24/7 ankle monitor, enabling continuous tracking of their location. Other probationary terms, such as financial obligations, employment maintenance, and therapy attendance, also apply.

Shock probation involves imposing the maximum statutory prison term initially, followed by a brief period of incarceration. After this short jail term, usually one month, the individual is placed on standard probation. The concept behind shock probation is that a brief incarceration increases the likelihood of the offender adhering to probation terms. Regardless of the probation type, all offenders must comply with laws and avoid new offenses. Violations may lead to additional penalties, including incarceration.[36]

The US also keeps a check on its probation and parole supervision through its Annual Probation Survey and Annual Parole Survey, ongoing since 1980. These surveys meticulously gather data on adults under supervision, including entry and exit figures and demographic details. Covering all states and federal systems, they offer valuable insights each year.[37]


In Ireland, apart from having provisions for probation, the country has also constituted a specialized agency to manage the probation of the offenders. The Probation Service agency operates under the Probation Act 1907 and the Criminal Justice (Community Service) Act 1983.[38] These laws provide the statutory framework for the operation of probation services and community sanctions. Similar to what other countries have done, Ireland too assigns probation officers to supervise the offenders. The supervision plans are tailored to the individual needs of the offenders. In fact, apart from the traditional probation orders, the country also utilizes the Community Services Orders which requires the offenders to perform unpaid work in the community as an alternative to imprisonment. The process followed in granting a probation in the country begins with the judge asking the Service to prepare a pre-sanction report before the granting of any sort of probation. Based on that report, it is at the judge’s discretion to proceed with the case any further. The Service as stated under the Community Returns Scheme is also responsible to see whether the prisoners are suitable for the same to be able to recommend the same to the courts. The agency has also been given the job to supervise the sex offenders right after they are released from the prison and the ones who are released on a temporary basis. The service, apart from assisting with probation, performs other services to reduce offending, support rehabilitation, develop local responses to crime and improve public safety and social inclusion.[39]

  3. The Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 360.
  4. The Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 361.
  6. Dalbir Singh v. The State of Haryana, AIR 2000 SC 1677
  7. Phul Singh v. the State of Haryana, AIR 1980 SC 249
  9. Rajeshwari Prasad v. Ram Babu Gupta, AIR 1961 Pat 19
  16. (1972) 2 SCC 633
  17. (2006) 5 SCC 396
  19. AIR 1983 SC 654
  20. AIR 1997 SC 1739
  21. (2000) 9 SCC 245
  22. (2001) 10 SCC 477
  23. 1973 Cri LJ 1238(AP)
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