Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Shock Probation Definition:

A sentencing strategy: a brief period of incarceration followed by release under supervision.

Related Terms: Probation, Nervous Shock

The imposition of a brief period of incarceration designed to shock a first-time offender, followed by a return of the offender to Court for release into the community under the supervision and terms of a probation order, often with a form of electronic monitoring.

"After a trial court imposes a sentence of incarceration, and begins execution of the sentence (i.e., the defendant is actually incarcerated), the trial court may suspend further execution of the sentence and place the defendant on community supervision, or shock probation, as it is commonly called."1

shock probationThe policy rationale behind shock probation is to avoid the over-penalization of a first-time offender by imposing a long jail term.

Some research suggests that shock probation is more effective in avoiding the repetition of crime (recidivism) by the offender as a long-term jail sentence.

Shock probation is usually not available for some sorts of convictions such as homicide, rape or robbery.


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