Augustus, John

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  • A humanitarian of faith, considered the father of probation in the United States. Augustus (1785–1859), a shoemaker, was driven to help those he understood to be in need of reformation rather than punishment. He provided bail for a defendant, charged in the Boston Police Court, for the first time in 1841. Augustus went before the court and advocated that defendants be released into his custody. He assumed legal responsibility for them, provided their bail, and found them housing. His work paved the way for probation, the practice in which a convicted offender, instead of going to prison, remains in the community under some type of supervision.

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