Unsatisfactory Termination of Probation

linkedin
Share on Google+
Share on Reddit
Share on Tumblr
Download PDF

What does it mean for a probationer to be terminated “unsatisfactorily” or “unsuccessfully”? From what I understand it’s a notation that the Division of Community Corrections (DCC) uses to indicate that a probationer’s term of probation ended without revocation, but under other-than-ideal circumstances. A common example arises when a probationer owes restitution as a condition of probation, but has demonstrated a good-faith inability to pay the money. Absent a collateral public safety concern, DCC might recommend “unsatisfactory early termination.” It’s kind of like a dishonorable discharge from the military – you’re out, but you probably won’t go around bragging about it in the future. Over 300 probationers are terminated unsatisfactorily each month, compared to about twice that many who are terminated satisfactorily.

Clearly, an indication that a probationer’s supervision ended under unfavorable conditions provides relevant and valuable information to probation officers and judges who might come into contact with the person in the future. That said, the only type of termination mentioned in the General Statutes is that in G.S. 15A-1342(b), which the judge may do at any time if “warranted by the conduct of the defendant and the ends of justice.” There’s no mention of satisfactory or unsatisfactory termination in the law. With that in mind, should unsatisfactory termination be the judge’s formal adjudication of a probation violation hearing?

What do you think? Do judges order unsuccessful or unsatisfactory terminations of probation in your district? If so, how is that information used later?

11 comments on “Unsatisfactory Termination of Probation

  1. A helpful probation officer gave me a call to talk about this post and said that my “common” example (probationer unable to pay restitution) actually isn’t common in his district. More common examples, he said, involved things like probationers who get incarcerated on more serious charges or probationers who fall ill but haven’t satisfied certain conditions.

  2. I am a Chief Probation Officer in Surry County. Most often, unsatisfactory terminations in my county are for:

    1) Offenders who abscond supervision and their whereabouts remain
    unknown for 3 or more years. Judges will then terminate the case
    unsuccessfully.
    2) An Offender who receives a lengthy active sentence in North Carolina
    or another state and whose probation sentence is a lesser offense,
    usually a misdemeanor, with no victim and/or no restitution.
    3) Illegal aliens picked up by ICE and detained in Federal custody awaiting
    deportation. Once we confirm they have been deported, we have the
    Judge terminate unsuccessfully.
    4) We have terminated offenders unsuccessfully who have been
    diagnosed with a terminal illness, or who have been involved in a
    serious accident resulting in paralysis, brain damage or other physical
    condition that renders them unable to comply.
    5) Geriatric Offenders who are confined in a nursing facility.

    Even if we (DCC) recommend such a termination, it remains a recommendation. The District Attorney must review it, and if approved, it is then presented to the Judge for a final decision. The Judge is the final authority.

    I hope this sheds some light on how this type of termination is utilized by the Courts.

  3. When can you place a defendant on case two probation?

  4. Lauri Klein: I’m not sure I understand your question. A person can be serving multiple probation terms at once under G.S. 15A-1346. Under that law, multiple probation terms must run concurrently — they cannot be stacked.

    Let me know if that’s not your question.

  5. I wonder how employers reading criminal backgrounds should view unsatisfactory terminations. I advise an agency responsible for doing this. I guess they should try contacting the P.O. to find out the reasons.

  6. In my case of interest, the young man was on probation for a drug offense, originally possesion with intent to manufacture meth, reduced to possesion of Schedule 11 drug. He was on 1 yr probation. He did not reside in the county of the probation, he did not report as ordered and he was arrested several times for other offenses. After 8 months, the probation office issued a felony probation violation warrant.

    He came into court with a lawyer and his mother. Pleaded poor addicted young man and his mother insisted he was going to treatment right out of court.

    Because he could not be released to leave the county while on probation his mother agreed to “pay off” his fees and the judge released him with an unsatisfactory completion.

    He still faces charges for DUI, att B&E, and larceny among others. In addition there is a show cause out for child support.

    To whom do I direct an inquiry as to the legality of this? I thought that NC had tightened the probation laws after the tragedy of last year? I’m confused and angry, to say the least.

  7. Anne Grady: The judge can terminate probation at any time–there’s nothing illegal about that. My point is that there’s no legal significance in calling it “unsatisfactory.”

    Why could he not be released to leave the county while on probation?

    As for the changes to the law, most of them don’t come into effect until Dec. 1, 2009–but in any event they don’t alter the judge’s authority to terminate probation.

  8. can somebody that has been unsatisfactory termination while on probation get a expungement

  9. that is of a fist degree robbery charge

  10. in the state of louisiana

  11. MY BOYFRIEND JUST WENT TO COURT AND HIS PROBATION OFFICER GAVE HIM UNSATIFACTORY PROBATION. HE HAS COURT AGAIN IN 2 WEEKS FOR A DIFFERENT CHARGE IN A DIFFERENT COUNTY AND I WAS WONDERING IF IT IS POSSIBLE IF THEY WILL PUT HIM ON PROBATION INSTEAD OF GIVING HIM TIME?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.