header graphic
Connect with Onondaga County Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On X (Twitter) Watch Us On Youtube

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Probation?

A: Probation is an alternative to incarceration that allows certain offenders to live and work in the community, support their families, participate in counseling services and make restitution to the victims of their crimes. Probation is the most common sentence imposed by the courts in the United States.

The Probation Department provides public safety through supervision, treatment and prevention. Probation Officers are peace officers with dual responsibilities of protection of the community and rehabilitation of the offender. The ultimate goal is long term public safety and the reduction of further victimization.

Q: Is Probation the same as Parole?

A: No. Probation is an alternative to incarceration for selected defendants, although a short period jail time may be included at the beginning of the sentence. Parole is an early release of a prisoner before the end of a New York State Prison sentence. In New York State, Probation is operated by County Government and Parole is operated by the State. You will find a link to the NYS Parole web site on our "Links" page.

Q: Does a person escape punishment by receiving Probation?

A: No, in fact, some offenders choose a jail sentence rather than be under probation supervision, because of the requirements and restrictions placed upon them. Probationers must obey the law, be suitably employed or in school, report to the probation officer as directed and allow probation officers to visit their homes. Many probationers are required to pay restitution, fees or complete community service. Treatment is required for those with a history of alcohol, drug or sexual abuse.

Q: What happens if a probationer violates the terms of the probation?

A: The probation officer can impose a series of graduated sanctions when a person commits a violation. Many factors come into consideration, such as the seriousness of the violation, the history of the offender and the current circumstances. The sanctions can include more frequent contact with the probation officer, an increase in the level of treatment or even return to court on a violation of probation. The court may then impose additional conditions of probation or revoke the probation and impose a sentence of incarceration or placement.

badge image

To Provide Feedback About the Disability Accessibility of An Onondaga County Department's Website, Click Here to Access the Department's Contact Page

© 2001-  Onondaga County, New York  All Rights Reserved.   |  Ongov.net  |  Privacy Statement | Directions & Parking | Language or Disability Access Assistance