If you want to understand U.S. probation, start by looking at its roots and how it has evolved over the last 180 years. This timeline highlights major events that featured in that evolvement. If this timeline leaves you curious for more details, look for our next whitepaper that dives deeper into U.S. probation. 


Bonta, James and D. A. Andrews. “Risk-Need-Responsivity Model for Offender Assessment and Rehabilitation.” Public Safety Canada. 2007. https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rsk-nd-rspnsvty/rsk-nd-rspnsvty-eng.pdf.

Bonta, James, Guy Bourgon , Tanya Rugge, Terri-Lynne Scott, Annie K. Yessine, Leticia Gutierrez, and  Jobina Li. “The Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision: Risk-Need-Responsivity in the Real World.” Public Safety Canada. April 2010. https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2010-01-rnr/2010-01-rnr-eng.pdf

Chute, Charles L. “The Progress of Probation and Social Treatment in the Courts.” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 24, no. 1. 1933. https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2371&context=jclc.

Clodfelter, Tammatha, Jefferson E. Holcomb, Melissa A. Alexander, Chief Catherine D. Marcum, and Tara N. Richards. “A Case Study of the Implementation of Staff Training Aimed at Reducing Rearrest (STARR).” Federal Probation 80, no 1. 2016. https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/80_1_4_0.pdf

Cullen, Francis T. “The Twelve People Who Saved Rehabilitation: How the Science of Criminology Made a Difference,” Criminology 43, no. 1 (2005): 3, https://www.d.umn.edu/~jmaahs/Correctional%20Assessment/Articles/cullen_12people%20who%20saved%20rehab.pdf.

“EPICS.” Multnomah County: Department of Community Justice. January 2020. https://multco.us/dcj/epics

Fuhrmann, Monica, Kyleigh Clark-Moorman, Jacob Denney, Ellen Dinsmore, Michael Williams, Jessie Mandirola, Jen Sirko, Alan van der Hilst, Henry Watson, and Dan Bender. “States Can Shorten Probation and Protect Public Safety.” The Pew Charitable Trusts. December 3, 2020. https://www.pewtrusts.org/-/media/assets/2020/11/shorten_probation_and_public_safety_report.pdf.

“Intensive Supervision Probation and Parole Programs (ISP): Program Brief.” U.S. Department of Justice: Bureau of Justice Assistance. 1987. https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/106663NCJRS.pdf.

Labrecque, Ryan M. “Probation in the United States: A Historical and Modern Perspective.” in Handbook of Corrections in the United States, edited by O. Hayden Griffin, III, Vanessa H. Woodward. New York: Routledge, 2017. https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1029&context=ccj_fac.

Petersilia, Joan. “Probation in the United States: Part One,” Perspectives (Spring 1998). https://www.macpo.net/Resources/Documents/Probation%20in%20the%20United%20States%20Part%201.pdf.

“Probation and Pretrial Services History.” United States Courts. 2015. https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/probation-and-pretrial-services/probation-and-pretrial-services-history.

“Program Profile: Staff Training Aimed at Reducing Rearrest (STARR).” Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice. December 10, 2020. https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/ratedprograms/236

“Program Profile: Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision (STICS).” Department of Justice: National Institute of Justice. December 4, 2020. https://crimesolutions.ojp.gov/ratedprograms/47#eb

“Risk/Needs Assessment 101: Science Reveals New Tools to Manage Offenders.” The Pew Center on the States. September 2011. https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2011/pewriskassessmentbriefpdf.pdf

Sachwald, Judith, Ernest Eley, Jr., and Faye S. Taxman. “An Ounce of Prevention: Proactive Community Supervision Reduces Violation Behavior.” Topics in Community Corrections. 2006. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/Archives/CitizensInterestPage/SentencingReformCommission/RetreatPresentations/AnOunceofPreventionNIC2006.pdf.

“The Roots of Probation.” Minnesota Association of County Probation Officers. 2014.  https://macpo.net/The-Roots-of-Probation/.

VanBenschoten, Scott W, John Bentley, Nancy Beatty Gregoire, and Christopher T. Lowenkamp.  “The Real-World Application of the Risk Principle: Is It Possible in the Field of Probation?” Federal Probation 80, no. 2. 2016. https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/80_2_1_0.pdf.