View Full Version : PRISON or PROBATION-which is better ??

02-01-2006, 02:03 PM
Okay get this. On January 7th 2006 I bailed a 26 year old friend of mine out of jail. He had been incarcerated for 2 months on a 1 count theft - means of transportation. His first offense. Just 2 days after I bailed him out he said that if he's found guilty on this charge he would rather do the time than take probation. At first I thought "what are you, NUTS" ? When I asked him "why jail time rather than probation", he said that he "doesn't want to be subjected to urine tests". He also said "why should I give up smoking marijianna?". My friend also is a meth head. Nice, huh?

This is the catch. The public defender handling my friends case told me that the decision is not going to be his. If my friend is found guilty on the charges the judge most likely will grant him 2 to 3 years probation (it's his 1st offense), all of which might only amount to a year and a half probation. HOWEVER, If my buddies attorney says to the judge, "my client would rather do the time than take probation your honor", the Judge is most likely to hand down the maximum penalty- 2 to 3 years incarceration in prison. Apparently Judges look down on defendants that would rather do jail time than take probation.

What's to worry about when you're in prison anyway? You can spend all your time out in the yard working out. There's a library. They feed and house you. A person doesn't have to worry about working, holding down a job, paying bills, paying taxes, clothing himself, paying someone elses bills, car insurance, keeping up with the "Jone's", any of that stuff. It's all taken care of for you.

Vacation spot no ??

02-01-2006, 02:16 PM
No it's hardly a vacation spot!! There are so many other factors that they have to worry about that we wouldn't even understand!!
Tell him to take the probation and do well for 2 years, it's better than being in prison for 3 years...isn't it? Not to mention, he can't do drugs in there either and if he does and gets caught...well that's added time.

02-01-2006, 02:31 PM
Well, I think a lot of people look at it that you have to live squeaky clean for 2 years if you are on probation. That's a tough thing to do for some people. Therefore, many people just opt to do the time and be through with it. Being on probation is harder than it sounds.

02-01-2006, 03:57 PM
Vacation spot no ?? Hardly!

However, being your friend enjoys his drugs the likely hood he will stay out of trouble on probation are slim.

You are correct that your basic needs are met in prison. But, it's no country club. You are surrounded by others who don't give a shlt about you or anyone else. I knew a guy that when bored (often happens) he would stare (day dream). He wasn't really looking at anything and he probably couldn't tell you what he was looking at. He did this by habit. This got him all messed up. Others would think that he was watching them.

I saw what I call an attempted murder over crap. Something if you did on the outside you would say sorry and never think about it again. Two bunk mates, the one on the top bunk climbing down accidentally stepped on the lower bunks bed sheets. The lower bunk pulls a shank and trys to stab him. He missed. Later in the day the lower bunk guy is sound asleep in the bed next to mine (I am like 4 feet away). The top bunk guy comes running into the cube (cubes are where the bed is) and slams this guy in the head with the back side of a wooden dust pan broom while he is sleeping. I have never seen so much blood in my life. It was from one end of the cube to the other. It was coming out of his head as if he was peeing.

All over bed sheets. The guy got caught. Although I do not know the out come I am sure it added more years to his time. So it's no country club!

02-01-2006, 06:32 PM
He will do the prison/jail time if and when he messes up. You my friend should be more worried about him showing up for court and turning himself in when it is time or you could loose your bail money. He is a big boy and will learn a valuable lesson in the end no matter which way it goes. I wish you both the best of luck.

02-01-2006, 06:45 PM
MY FRIEND (man, I'd love to mention him by name) SHOW UP IN COURT? You've got to be kidding? He has to show up for his preliminary, his trial (3 days of it) and the sentencing for me to see ANY MONEY. Of course what would be wonderful is if he would agree to go back in jail towards the end of march so I could get my money back. Fat chance of that happening. I haven't heard from him in days. I guess if I never hear back from him it will be a good thing. I don't want to know what happened to him. I will check to see if he made his court date however. Watch for him to show up right at the last minute wanting ME to drive him back there.

I'm so ready to be free of this and the pain that comes along with knowing an anti social personality like himself. It's just a flat footed disappointment all around and there's no other word for it.

Still, how hard can probation be? "No, I'd rather do the time" he saids. Who talks like that?

"this will pass, this will pass, this will pass, this will pass" (the silent prayer I repeat to myself)

*attachment removed, duplicate*

02-02-2006, 02:55 PM
im my honest opinion Probation=freedom, Freedom to do as you want when you want, if you just follow the rules of your probation, this being going home every night to your loved ones. being able to sleep without having to sleep with one eye open. freedom to eat what you want when you want, not having to hear the clang of the doors slam shut. Granted if you fail a UA on probation you could end up going to prison any way.

Prison=living in a cage, if you dont follow the rules you go to the Hole, having to sleep with one eye and ear open. having to deal with a grip of others that normally you wouldnt want to but in prison you really dont have a choice. only being able to see loved ones when DOC dictates that you can see them,(ie..having to put them on your visitation list and that isnt even guarenteed) eating when they say you eat. having someone watch you when you go to the bathroom. having to submit to stripsearches, the list goes on and on.

So which would you say is better.

Been there done that on both. i prefer probation aka Freedom

02-02-2006, 04:02 PM
I believe probation is better than time, but really it's all in God's hands. He knows what's going to happen before we do. I was only with my man Jim, for six months before he turned himself in. Now he's serving 3yr 9monts we hope. He got introuble before I got with him. So I do really feell cheated out of time I didn't get to spend with him. I believe that God puts people together for a reason. I also believe that they should rehablitize drug offenders, depending on out serious there crime was, that they should be put in a rehabilitation facillity rather than incarserating them. My man is in a Federal Prison Camp. Before they took him he said he would rather do time instead of probation, but now that he's there he's changed his mind. I've know him and his family for over 22yrs. He is my ex sis in law's brother. I know he's worth waiting for but I would like to know what you guys think that I should do?? But I do know that I will wate for him.:heart: Believe in God obove all others, give your total faith and trust in God.

02-14-2006, 12:36 PM
Hi. I've heard many people say they'd rather do the time than the program. I even held that opinion when I was on drugs. It was considered a set-up to try to do a program when you didn't want to. Probation is considered the same thing to many. I saw you were from California, so all this info should be is area specific. I'm in Orange County, CA.
It is often said that parole is better than probation. The adage goes that probation trys to put you in, parole trys to keep you out. I know my first parole officer ( a good one for once) said he didn't have to watch us closely - if we screwed up we'd fall into his lap. This was pretty much true. I went 18 months with plenty of dirty tests without getting violated. Oops, did I say tests? Well, by golly, I sure did. Your friend will face drug testing when he gets out of prison too. 13 months if he goes incident free - no dirties, no disciplinaries, no rule breaking. 3 years if he messes up. Stick that in his pipe and smoke it! hee hee

I was a speed freak too, and the only way I got clean was to go to prison. There's no way I would've gotten clean while on the streets. Funny thing, it was easy to clean up in jail. While you are waiting to finish your court proceedings, you just eat and sleep, and that's what speed freaks need to do. If you cooperate you can generally get a better sentence. When you are sentenced to probation and have a 3 year joint suspended, you still usually only get 16 mos. I did 9 on 16 months myself - at a women's prison.

Another thing (is this too much information??) In prison you MUST work (well if you can get a job, that is - I hear the mens prisons don't have enough jobs to go around due to overcrowding). If you don't work once you are assigned you lose privileges like canteen, phones etc.

And lastly - YOU can revoke the bail bond if you so wish. I would do that if I were worried about any no shows on his part. Do what is right to you. While addicted to drugs, we don't think straight and we generally don't care about others.

Hope this was of some help to you. Email me privatly if you want to know more.

03-03-2006, 12:50 PM
Well I don't know how people can think probation is a walk in the park because its not, but if he is facing equal time in prison and years on probation then yes probation is better but in my case I've been on probation for nearly 7 years they gave me probation until 2015, so I'm looking forward to getting this over with. I have just ONE charge but it carries a lot of restitution, I only score 20.1 months so in my case prison vs. Probation, it took me 7 years to make this decision but I'm taking the time. Yes prison sucks but so does probation, and I don't use drugs. I just have a hard time balancing my bills and my resititution payment. I made a mistake and I wish I could change it but I can't so off I go, at least I will be free again in 8 months.

04-15-2006, 09:00 PM
that is crazy! why would someone want prison over probation? From what i hear, you usually get let off halfway through your probation and its easy. I mean i could see if you had the choice of 6 months in prison vs. years of probation, maybe I would consider that.

04-15-2006, 10:05 PM
Anyone can refuse an offer from court for probation. You can tell them you'd rather work out a favorable jail sentence.

As to whether jail is better than probation, it all depends on the amount of time, and the conditions of probation. If I had a choice in my current situation of 3 months jail, or 2 years probation, honestly, I would suck it up and go for the probation. As it stands, I got both. I go to jail for 3 months on May 31st. Then I have 2 years of probation (been on probation since 1990, so it's no big deal). Some guys would much rather do the jail time, but I suspect they don't have lives and can afford the time away.

04-15-2006, 10:21 PM
My husband is not on drugs and has never been through this b4 but he says that if he had a choice between 2 years jail and 5 years probation that he would take prison cause he is tired of our family bieng apart and two years is better than 5. He is on house arrest now awaiting sentencing on a plea and we dont live close to one another.

04-16-2006, 12:39 AM
I once thought that I would rather do the time and get it over with, now that I have experienced both - prison and probation - and face the possibility of going back.

I would rather be here at home, with all the crap that they put on me. Till you experience it - being away from the ones you love, snuggling with your honey, laughing with your sisters, seeing the glow on your daughters face when she and her husband tell you that she is pregnant with your fourth Grandchild, watching you three daughters and son rally round your family and Father as he fights Alzheimer's, walking the beach, driving your convertible for the first time with the top down in spring, the smell of your Mom cooking breakfast, when your parents come to visit, cooking the same things you loved when you were young.

You can make a life in prison I have done it before, I can and may have to do it again, we will know this Wednesday. But those things that I listed above, they are life, what life is truly, they are just a memory there, something that both strengthens your soul for those days apart, and brings tears to your eyes and pain to your heart, for you are not a part of that life - till those gates open the day you go home. Then you have to learn to be apart of that life all over again.

I never used drugs unless you consider alcohol a drug, and I do. I am an alcoholic, though it is not what brought me to this point in life, I do know the fight to clean up and to stay that way. All I can say is this your friend has to want it, when he does he will make the fight to clean up, that usually comes when you have hit the very, very bottom and there is no other way.

One last thought, you asked what do you have to worry about in prison, well the things you listed, your right you don't have to worry about them.

I will tell you what I have to worry about though, and I would rather not have to worry about it and worry about all those things you listed.

I have to worry about whether my Daddy will be alive or not when I come home. He has always been there for me, and I let him down now. He along with Mom was there for my happy times and my sad times. He was there when I fought cancer, his strength, his wisdom, his humor at times, but most of all his love. When it comes to his final battle, I won't be there, the man who along with my Mom gave me life and who was always there for my sisters and I, the man whom I love more than life itself, and I won't be there for him.

You don't know how much that hurts my soul, I let him down.

Tell your friend, choose probation, clean himself up, and live.


05-25-2006, 12:21 PM
man I have seen this go down in court before... the judge is going to look really strange when he trys to take prison over paper.. Ive herd this logic before, but never from anyone whos done alot of time... ill put money that he'll smoke more reefer on probation than he will in the can....

Your friend should try taking the probation... he can always mess that up and than he will have a better excuse to give up on finishing probation... but it might be smart to try

05-25-2006, 01:10 PM
Is It Possible To Get Your Sentence Changed From Going To A Federal Camp To Home Confinement And Probation?

05-26-2006, 11:44 AM
well I had the option of probation but I turned it down. Its not really about whats better its that you get off paper MUCH faster then you would on probation.

Mickey Powell
05-26-2006, 05:23 PM
If he doesn't want to straighten up, prison is inevitable. Doing what he is doing makes a person very selfish so I doubt he will be missed and doing time seemed to be easier on those guys that did not leave a relationship on the street. Sounds like he needs the clean time and a program when he is released.
I got clean and sober in prison and realised that unless I made some changes this was always going to be my life. Drugs and prison. I started praying and Came out of prison with a beautiful relationship with Jesus. That was seven years ago. God has healed the marriage I threw away behind drugs. Now I am a volunteer chaplain in three Calif. prisons, trying to encourage men to lay that old life down before they get out so they will have a better chance of staying out.
I hated prison but it helped me get my life back. LORD Bless

05-27-2006, 12:22 PM
I don't think there is any one correct answer. If you have a professional USPO (which I always had) probation or supervised release can be easy, but if you have a USPO who wants to prevent your rehabilitation (this is rare but I have seen such situations) doing the time might be a better alternative and get the issue over with sooner.

06-25-2006, 10:09 PM
I was given 5 years probation or 2 years in jail. For something that I should not have been brought to court for DHS matter. Had a court appointed attorney 2 in fact first one I asked to have changed because he lied to the judge. The second one that was appointed tried to get himself off my case but it didn't happen. During the trial the prosecutors were talking to the first court appointed attorney about my case. My second attorney did nothing, the witness for the prosecution were violating the Rule (witnesses not to speak to one another) even an ADA told them to stop twice, they didn't listen so instead of informing the judge she just left. My second attorney did nothing again on my behalf. My second attorney is a self admitted reformed drug abuser who has more sympathy for those on drug then those it affects. My husband the reason I am in this mess admitted to this attorney his drug use and instead he gave me a speech about sticking it out, he has been violent with me and the attorney knew it and suggested church. Now I am stuck in a situation my Husband wanted. Me convicted so that I had no choice but to stay with him. Last tuesday I had what was supposed to be my first PO appointment and restitution payment, and I did 7 1/2 hours of community service of the 200 hrs given. I have over 15,000 in restiution mostly court cost, attorneys fees, and probation fees, about 4,700 to DHS. I went to the appoint with a female who treats me like crap and I'm suppose to pay all this money, yet the house doesn't even have AC and it been around 100 here. So I lost it and told her I would rather do the time. My life sucks I am disabled with what my medicals have it as a (mangled left leg) two disks in my back one severly damaged and the other one very bad. Reumitoid and Ostioarthrist along with been clinicly diagnosed as Suicidel. My health just keeps getting worse both mentally and physically. My husband treats me like crap and my kids although great kids don't seem to listen anymore, my son will graduate this coming year and just can't wait to leave, my 14 yr daughter is impossible because my husband let's her get away with everything. I have a 8yr who is starting to get as bad as the 14yr. I stayed with this guy for the kids my life has been one disaster after another and I now I feel if I don't do the time I'll just kill myself. I tried in December but not good enough. Either I go and maybe be put on meds and be better when I get out or not being around at all. This could be the only way to get away from him and be able to have a life afterwards. Prison seems my best choice.

06-28-2006, 09:52 AM
Hmmmm. Depends on the individual I would think. If your a repeat offender your better off in prison. Probation or being on paper really does test a individual, with "the rules." I think it just comes down to the individual and how strong of a desire they have to be in society, versus prison.

07-09-2006, 07:04 PM
I had that choice, flat time or some time + probation and I took the latter. In hindsight I wish I had of just done the flat time.

07-31-2006, 06:36 PM

Sounds like your friend doesn't care, and I think that even if he's given probation at first, he'll end up in prison.

Meantime, protect your ownself, and bless you for doing your best to help.

The bulk is up to him.


07-31-2006, 08:48 PM
This is an honest question: what are the rules for probation that other people have that are really hard?

My husband's rules are pretty basic:
no drugs/alcohol
No "association" with felons
work 30 hours per week
Pay $60 a month supervision fee
check in once per week with PO
SO therapy once per week

I think those rules aren't asking for much at all. Basically just asking the person to do what they pretty much should be doing, anyway. Are there people dealing with much stricter rules or something?

08-01-2006, 03:53 AM
That would be asking way to much from my buddy. He doesn't want to "have to" give up smoking pot or driving a vehicle. He definitely doesn't want to pay a probation officer $50 dollars a month, let alone answer to one. Since his charge is "1 count theft means of transportation", his drivers license will be revoked for 2 years and to him that's like cutting off his leg. After all, he's TOO GOOD to ride the bus !!

08-01-2006, 05:34 PM
Yes June5 those are the basic conditions of probation (at least they are the same as mine).

I use to think prison would be better than probation. They wanted to give me 5 years probation in which case I would have asked for prison time. But then I had a friend in prison tell me what it's like and I decided to work hard with my public defender to get less probation. With all of my dr. letters (I'm bipolar) I was able to talk the DA down to 2 years and I got deferred adjudication. So I think probation is easier but then again I'm not a drug addict so I don't have to worry about passing a drug test.

Either way your friend is going to have to be drug free for some time whether it be in prison or on probation.

starting over
08-01-2006, 06:10 PM
People have to just be out of their mind if they choose Jail/prison INSTEAD OF probation. Those people are just telling everyone and society, "I am not worthy of any freedom, and I cannot control myself." Crazy...

08-08-2006, 06:29 PM
Not necessarily crazy; it in fact migth show surprisingly good insight.
When a defandant gets probation, that can come with a local jail term of up to a year or even longer. On a felony, probation violations are punishable by more local time; or a state prison sentence. If you add up teh origianl sentence, teh time on violations, and then factor in that any prison term will be imposed based on teh whim of the sentencing Judge and the request of the prosecutor; and suddenly probation looks like a bad deal.
I frequently represent defendants who opt for probation and rehab; with no real desire to do the long term program. They screw up, get violated, and go to prison if their record is poor. If they'd have negotiated for prison in teh 1st place, I could have gotten them much less time.
Some defendants are in a hopeless situation. No home, no transport, mental illness and no medical care, substance abuse = a walking probation violation. They are getting set up to fail probation, so perhaps they'd be better off in the long run with a minimum sentence in prison.
I hate suggesting that defendants might be better off with a negotiated prison term; but the reality is that probation can be a bad deal.
I'd agree that defendants should do what they can to stay out of prison; but it doesn't hurt to be a realist if probation failure is inevitable and prison has all but happened.

People have to just be out of their mind if they choose Jail/prison INSTEAD OF probation. Those people are just telling everyone and society, "I am not worthy of any freedom, and I cannot control myself." Crazy...

08-09-2006, 03:11 PM
He's been in Jail twice before for a total of 4 months. He's familar with the mentality there. If he'd rather do the time than take probation that's his prerogative. He say's he just wants to do his time and then get out. His time will be for at least a year if not 2 in state prison, not jail. Isn't prison suppose to be easier than jail anyway?

08-16-2006, 11:13 PM
hello. i have a son was sentenced to 16months..he served 6 months in t he county hes violated his he has 10 months left to serve...will they send him to prision for that 10 months or leave him in the county?? hes in ohio

08-21-2006, 04:32 PM
One of my pen pals is a guy who got six years probation on a sex charge in Florida. He violated in a month or two, ended up with revoked probation and TEN YEARS in prison.

Clifford, I'll say it again, amigo -- protect yourself . . .


08-22-2006, 01:27 AM
Probation isn't for him and he doesn't want to give up driving a car for a couple of years. If he's found guilty and given probation his license would be revoked for 2 years. Charge is 1 count theft by means of transportation in Phoenix, AZ. His first trial ended in a hung jury, 6 to 2 in his favor. His next trial is September 18th. If found guilty he will be offered about 2 years probation or 2 years in Prison. He says he'd rather do the time because at 26 he doesn't have the patience for probation. He's been in jail twice in his life, served 2 months on each until I bailed him out on this one last January. He would have still been in Durango county Jail if I hadn't. He doesn't seem to think prison is going to be any big deal. He's a wheeler-dealer type. He should fit in to that population just fine. Prison is full of all ages, all types.

08-27-2006, 04:53 PM
Well, I think a lot of people look at it that you have to live squeaky clean for 2 years if you are on probation. That's a tough thing to do for some people. Therefore, many people just opt to do the time and be through with it. Being on probation is harder than it sounds.

I am on probation for three years. Done a year already so two years. I see my officer once a month for the usual broth of conversation-minus the cup of tea in china cups unfortunately:(

Terms and conditions can be tricky, but all you really have to do is turn up at the office along with every other resident who lives in local area. My area, Lewisham. Slum, but is getting a renaissance by 2012. Better than Catford or Eltham Green.

09-07-2006, 05:38 AM
If he goes to prison he gets on parole which is 100 times worse then probation.

09-07-2006, 01:02 PM
What makes parole all that much worse than probation? Isn't parole shorter? With probation my buddies drivers license will be revoked for 2 years and that's why he'd rather do the time in prison. Go figure?

09-07-2006, 02:10 PM
If that's what he's worried about, he needs to get a second opinion from DMV they are the one's suspening the license. They usually work from what the conviction was. If it's teh court's probation term to not drive for 2 yrs., perhaps the defense attorney could offer the suggestion to have the driving term reviewed in, say a yr. of flawless behavior.

On a felony, probation in CA can be for up to 5 yrs. However, most felonies recieve a 3 yr. probation grant.
For garden variety felonies (that aren't served in CRC, the prison drug program), parole is 3 yrs.; extended to 4 yrs. if parole is violated.

What makes parole all that much worse than probation? Isn't parole shorter? With probation my buddies drivers license will be revoked for 2 years and that's why he'd rather do the time in prison. Go figure?

09-07-2006, 03:35 PM
My buddy has done time twice, once in Georgia and once in Arizona. Two months in each for a total of 4 months. He said it wasn't that bad. He'd rather do his time than have to be on probation. His charge is 1 count theft means of transportation. In the state of AZ if you're convicted on this charge your drivers license is automatically revoked. No exceptions for going to and from work, NOTHING. They're tough on this crime because Arizona leads the country in having more car theft than any other state. My buddy, if found guilty will more than likely be offered probabtion but will ask for jail time instead. He says when it comes to probation he doesn't have the patience. I said, when it comes to probation he acts as though he has no self control. And as we know if the sentence is 2 years, he'll be serving time in prison, which I hear is alot easier than jail.

09-16-2006, 09:15 PM
This is definetly a complicated question. I've heard my hubby many times say "i rather just get the time over so they can just leave me alone while im at home" however, he normally takes it back and says, nope I rather be with my family.Once he spent time in a maximum security prison, I think probation was enough freedom for him. Like someone said in an earlier post, probation = freedom. Your exactly right. So what you have to answer to someone else. Its there to teach you and help! We have a great probation officer now, well for now....and she has done everything she could to help. We even liked going to see her just because she was so supportive of us!

09-16-2006, 11:17 PM
I think my buddy thinks going to prison is no big deal. Subconsciously he might see it as a form of rehab for his meth addiction. A place to dry out and and he said "make friends and play cards"

09-17-2006, 07:02 PM
I think my buddy thinks going to prison is no big deal. Subconsciously he might see it as a form of rehab for his meth addiction. A place to dry out and and he said "make friends and play cards"

has your buddy ever ben to prison???it makes a great difference..maybe he dont feel like going through all the garbage of probation to eventually end up where he already knows he is heading...prison..

if he hasnt ben to prison...he might find friends that want to do more than play is a dagerous place

if he dont want to do the probation and dont want to risk the chance of the judge slammin him with a bunch of time to teach him a lesson..there is a third option..tell him to take the probation..they will usually give u like a year suspended sentence over your head...meaning if you violate(without commiting another crime)they will eventually give him the year..maybe not all at once though..60 days here..90 days there..tell him to keep track of aall the time he has served..and has already served for this will all come together to be counted towards whatever they give he could just accept it and violate it..,lols..dirty pee will do it........

on another note..i read in this thread "probation=freedom".."prison=locked up" or something like that..they went on to say"probation=freedom if you follow the rules."i just wanted to comment that all prison is ,is alot of rules..even though we do place conditions,rules,on so called freedom,freedom itself refuses to be defined..if you define freedom you quickly lose only end up with somebody elses idea of freeedom..Plato proved this in the Republic..if anyone wants to check it out..

good luck

09-18-2006, 12:20 AM
My friend has done 4 months in jail, 2 months in a Georgia jail and 2 months in Durango County Jail in Phoenix. He's never done prison time, which I hear is alot easier than jail since you can spent the majority of your day out in the yard as opposed to being couped up in a cell. If convicted he faces time in an Arizona prison. I really don't suspect much going on with him if he does choose doing time over probation. He's intelligent, street smart and knows his way around people. He's a 26 year old white guy who stands 5'6" 165 lb. He enjoys reading and quite frankly I think he views prison as no big deal.