The Theories of John Augustus: The Father of Probation

650 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 3 Pages
This led to more reasonable sentences for many individuals, as well as a radical shift in the approach to rehabilitation of criminals. A Massachusetts native, he was the founder of a thriving business who maintained an interest in the legal process. He was a member of the Washington Total Abstinence Society, which held that alcohol abusers could be rehabilitated through a regimen of understanding and moral training. The most widely-employed method of justice at the time was to send offenders to prison, which often only served to further harden the offender. In 1841, Augustus approached the police court in Boston and bailed out a drunken detainee. The offender returned three weeks later for a sentencing hearing sober, with a neat appearance and improved demeanor (the man was fined only one cent plus court costs). Augustus had also found the man employment. The court allowed Augustus to continue his efforts for the next 18 years. He paid bail himself or solicited donations from other Bostonians. Augustus carefully selected his candidates, and did not exclusively take alcohol abusers. Augustus selected his cases based on age, character and outside influences upon an individual. Augustus’ simple theory was that the majority of offenders were not dangerous and were open to treatment. Finding…

More about The Theories of John Augustus: The Father of Probation

Open Document