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The Journey Project



When a person is convicted of a crime, he/she is then given a sentence by the court.

The judge has a variety of options available to him/her when deciding how a person should be punished. For example, sentencing may include a period of incarceration or the offender may be given a period of supervision within the community.

When the court orders probation, the offender remains in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. This does not mean that the offender is released from court without conditions. The court will order the conditions which the offender is to follow in a probation order.

Sometimes, before the judge can decide which conditions need to be in place for the offender to follow, he/she may need more information. A probation officer may be requested to gather this information and present it to the court.

Initially, the judge may request that a pre- sentence report be completed by the probation officer, which will provide the judge with enough information to sentence the offender.

This report will address issues of:

  • Prior criminal behaviour
  • Family relationships
  • Access to financial resources
  • Education
  • Employment history
  • Use of drugs and alcohol
  • Other pertinent information

As well as information about the offender, the judge will also take into consideration information about:

  • The offence
  • The safety of the community
  • The possibility of rehabilitation for the offender

A probation officer is a trained professional who is authorized by the court to supervise and provide guidance to an individual under a probation order.

A probation order is a legal document which lists a number of conditions as outlined by the judge during sentencing.

These conditions must be followed for the time period outlined in the document. These conditions may include:

  • Keep the peace and be of good behaviour;
  • Participate in individual or group counselling;
  • Keep a curfew;
  • Attend school;
  • Abstain from contact with certain individuals;
  • Make restitution to the victim of the crime. Restitution is a financial payment that must be made either to the court or directly to the individual;
  • Abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol.

Other conditions may be applied as they are deemed appropriate by the court.

Probation is ordered by the court; therefore, it must be followed. In fact, not following the conditions in the order may result in the laying of criminal charges.

Not meeting the conditions of a probation order is a violation of Section 733.1 of the Criminal Code.

If found guilty, the offender may receive a period of incarceration. Breach of a court order is considered to be very serious by the courts.

Criminal Law