Probation is a form of community supervision that requires individuals to be supervised and monitored by probation officers, who ensure their compliance with conditions of supervision.
Community supervision agencies are responsible for managing the largest number of people within the justice system. As of 2016, 7 in 10 people under correctional supervision were supervised in the community. Community supervision is employed in a range of situations, and the use of community supervision can differ significantly between system-involved adults and system-involved youth. Adult community supervision is primarily used as an incarceration alternative in which people convicted of crimes live and work in the community while carrying out their sentence. Adults may receive an initial sentence of community supervision or may be released into a community supervision program after completing a jail or prison sentence. The aim of post-release supervision is to reintegrate people into the community and may include referrals for resources and services such as residential treatment, half-way housing, and vocational training. Juvenile community supervision primarily consists of youth placed on probation, either formally (after being found delinquent by a juvenile court) or informally. Community supervision consists of varying levels of monitoring based on a process of evaluation that considers the seriousness of the offense committed, as well as individual factors.