technical violation | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee


Course: Introduction / Corrections

A technical violation is a violation of the conditions of probation or parole.

A technical violation is a violation of the conditions of probation or parole that is not related to a new criminal offense. Instead, technical violations are violations of the specific terms and conditions of an offender’s probation or parole agreement. Technical violations can include a failure to report to a probation or parole officer, failing to attend required counseling or treatment programs, testing positive for drugs or alcohol, or leaving the jurisdiction without permission.

When an offender is placed on probation or parole, they are given a set of conditions that they must follow. These conditions are designed to ensure that the offender remains law-abiding and successfully reintegrates into society. If an offender violates any of these conditions, it is considered a technical violation.

When a technical violation occurs, the probation or parole officer will investigate the situation and determine whether the offender has violated the terms of their release. If the violation is deemed serious enough, the probation or parole officer may recommend revocation of the offender’s probation or parole. This can result in the offender being sent back to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence.

In some cases, probation and parole officers may choose to use alternative sanctions for technical violations. These may include increased supervision, additional counseling or treatment, or community service. The goal of these alternative sanctions is to address the underlying issues that may have led to the violation and help the offender avoid further involvement in criminal activity.

One of the challenges with technical violations is that they can sometimes be unintentional. For example, an offender may miss a probation appointment due to a scheduling conflict or may test positive for drugs due to a medication they were prescribed. In these cases, it is important for probation and parole officers to work with the offender to address the violation and determine the best course of action moving forward.

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