Sentencing option in the federal courts. With probation, instead of sending an individual to prison, the court releases the person to the community and orders him or her to complete a period of supervision monitored by a U.S. probation officer and to abide by certain conditions.

Source: U.S. Courts

An alternative to imprisonment allowing a person found guilty of an offense to stay in the community, usually under conditions and under the supervision of a probation officer. A violation of probation can lead to its revocation and to imprisonment.

Source: U.S. Courts

(1) A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases a convicted defendant under supervision of a probation officer that makes certain that the defendant follows certain rules, for example, gets a job, gets drug counseling; (2) a department of the court that prepares a presentence report.

Source: California Courts.