When an offense is committed by an individual who is considered a minor, he or she is called a juvenile offender. The definition of a minor may vary from state to state and country to country, but a minor is generally considered an individual under a certain age, usually 18 or 21 years old. In the event that the juvenile offender is considered guilty, he or she may be placed in a juvenile hall or under juvenile probation.
Juvenile probation is an option of the juvenile court that allows criminal minors to reside in their own communities rather than transferring them to a new home or placing them inside a juvenile detention center. It is at the discretion of the court to determine whether or not a juvenile offender should be placed under juvenile probation or not.
Juvenile probation is an integral step in identifying whether or not a juvenile offender can be rehabilitated. It serves as a test to see if juvenile offenders can carry on their sentences or punishments within their own communities, outside of incarceration. Juvenile probation may be a more preferable option for most people, including the offenders and the judges, because it provides a less expensive solution to juvenile crimes. It allows juvenile detention to be used only for the seriously violent or dangerous juvenile offenders. It also allows juvenile delinquents to integrate themselves with society rather than become detached in a detention center.
A juvenile offender that has been granted juvenile probation must report to a probation officer on a regular basis.