Obey All Laws and Be Good: Probation and the Meaning of Recidivism

As the most commonly imposed criminal sentence in the U.S., probation functions to expand the sprawling reach of the carceral state. This article analyzes probation practices in states where it is most widely used, demonstrating how probation functions to sustain criminalization by granting immense power to probation officers and targeting socially disadvantaged populations. The author points out the irony that probation is often used as a 'better' alternative to prison sentences, when in reality the consequences of probation can be just as harmful.


Doherty, F. (2016). Obey All Laws and Be Good: Probation and the Meaning of Recidivism. The Georgetown Law Journal, 104(2), 64. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2726740

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