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Probation is community supervision of offenders who have been ordered by the Circuit Court to comply with specific conditions. The Circuit Court Judge imposes a sentence that can consist of jail, tether, community service, probation or any combination of these and others. If the offender is placed on probation, the Judge determines the conditions which the offender must obey. The Judge also establishes any fines, costs, and restitution that the offender must pay. Field agents from the probation office supervise the offenders and monitor their compliance with the terms of probation while in the community. The sentencing judge is responsible for making any decisions regarding the offender’s status.
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Parole is community supervision of offenders released from prison. The rules and conditions of parole are governed by the State of Michigan and the Parole Board. The terms and length of parole is set by the Parole Board. Local field agents monitor and enforce the conditions of parole while the parolee is in the community.
Electronic Monitoring can consist of curfew monitoring (tether), GPS monitoring, and alcohol monitoring. Curfew monitoring is a system that monitors when an offender is in their residence and enforces a specific curfew. The offender is only allowed out of their residence for specific times/purposes. Global Positioning (GPS) is used to track the current and past locations of specific offenders in the community. Finally, alcohol monitoring (SCRAM or Sobrietor) is used to monitor the offender's consumption of alcohol. These forms of monitoring are intensive forms of community supervision and are usually used in lieu of additional incarceration.