Probation, the most modern concept in the administration of criminal justice, has been characterized as the correctional procedure and most worthy of a democracy because it recognizes basic human values. As such, it constitutes a democratic faith in the ability to the average offender to solve his difficulties within the framework of our democracy. While the aim of any probation system is to protect society, it has become apparent that society can best be protected by efforts which are aimed at conserving its human resources. Advances in the understanding of human behaviour and motivation have provided new and challenging principles of operation. The community has come to recognize that the so-called "criminal" is a person in conflict. He may be in conflict with himself, his environment, or with both, and this conflict must be resolved if the individual is to become a full participating member of the community in which he lives. The offense must be recognized as merely a symptom of a larger and more basic problem of adjustment directly related to the personality of the offender. The causes of criminal behaviour in any single individual are often diverse and complex. The criminal behavior may be symptomatic of some underlying hereditary or biological defect; of poverty and slums; of broken homes, of inadequate and improper education; of lack of recreation; of emotional conflicts; or of disturbed personal or familiar relationships.
Angelo J. Gagliardo, Probation and the Law, 2 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 129 (1953)