State and County Probation:

Systems in Crisis

GGD-76-87: Published: May 27, 1976. Publicly Released: May 27, 1976.

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Probation activities were reviewed to see if they were being managed effectively. GAO wanted to determine: (1) whether the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), the States, and the county probation departments were addressing the problems of developing probation systems that insure the public's safety and enable offenders to remain in the community and receive rehabilitation services; (2) how much the services received by probationers increased their chances of successfully completing probation; (3) whether systems existed to identify individuals with good chances of completing probation and remaining out of contact with the criminal justice system and how such systems could be used to improve probation operations.

State and county probation systems are not adequately protecting the public; the majority of probationers do not sucessfully complete probation. Probation systems are overburdened. Since most offenders are sentenced to probation, probation systems must receive adequate resources. The priority assigned to probation in the criminal justice system must be reevaluated.

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