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Probation represents a form of supervision that puts criminal offenders under the control of a probation officer or other court-appointed official as part of their sentence for committing certain criminal acts. Probation can represent an alternative to incarceration in a prison or other penal facility, or it can be a period that occurs after a person leaves jail. Those who violate the terms of their probation, which often imposes restrictions on the individual involved, risk being sent to prison. Favored by many as a less expensive way than incarceration to deal with those convicted of crimes, probation is criticized by those who believe that it permits dangerous individuals too much latitude and by those who insist that it limits the rights of persons of color ...

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