John Augustus (1785–1859), a Massachusetts shoemaker, is credited with being the “father of probation.” Although much of his work pertained to pretrial supervision, it nonetheless contributed greatly to the origin of the American probation system. Augustus coined the term probation, which he derived from the Latin word probare meaning to be tested or proven.

Born in Woburn, Massachusetts, in 1785, he moved to Lexington at the age of 21 and began making shoes. (Augustus was married twice, fathering two daughters and two sons.) In 1827, Augustus again moved, but this ...

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