What does it mean to be on probation?
Thomas Soldan: Typically when someone is found guilty of an offense, or there has been a factual finding similar to guilt in the case of deferred disposition, as part of the punishment or sentencing phase, probation is an option. Probation means that the person has to complete some requirements or else they run the risk of having further fines or further jail time imposed by the court. Typically probation is there to make sure the person is keeping up their end of the bargain, is living life on the straight and narrow, is not committing any further crimes, and is not using illegal drugs or substances. If mental health, restitution, or other special conditions are involved, then the probationary staff would monitor payment of restitution, completion of programs, and completion of community service. All of that is typically a part of the probationary process. It is not to punish people but to make sure that they don’t commit further acts like those that caused them to be in court in the first place.