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Criminal Law & Procedure: Adult Probation & Diversion Programs


Probation, probation before judgment, probationers, probation officer, probationary period, probation department, probation agency, electronic monitoring, suspended sentence, offenders, ex-convicts, ex-cons, probation programs, diversion program, diversion agreement, memorandum of understanding, pretrial diversion, accelerated pretrial intervention, accelerated rehabilitative disposition, deferred prosecution, deferred adjudication, pretrial intervention, Justice Reinvestment, job readiness programs, rehabilitation, recidivism, crime, criminal justice system, corrections policy, judicial supervision, accused, defendant.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Both the Law Library and Snell Library (the main NU library) have many books and resources on probation-related subjects. To find them, try the Library of Congress SUBJECT searches in Scholar OneSearch below. The name of a particular state can be substituted for "United States" in any of the subject heading strings below. For example: Probation -- Massachusetts.

Probation -- United States

Intensive probation -- United States

Probation officers -- United States

Probationary employees -- United States

Criminal law -- United States

Criminal procedure -- United States

Criminal justice, Administration of -- United States

Suggested Readings

In addition to the resources listed on the Secondary Sources webpage in this LibGuide, the following suggested readings may be of interest:

State Statutes

M.G.L. c. 276A §1-9 District Court Pretrial Diversion of Selected Offenders (see annotated versions in Westlaw & Lexis for research references)

Research Guides

In addition to traditional legal resources, law students have access to numerous criminal justice resources in print and online through Snell Library. See Snell Library's Research Guide on Criminal Justice to identify potential resources.

Articles & Reports

Use the keywords on the left to find articles online and in the Law Library's Research Databases, including Westlaw, Lexis, Bloomberg, HeinOnline's Law Journal Library, Index to Legal Periodicals and LegalTrac.


John Clark, "Pretrial Diversion and the Law: a Sampling of Four Decades of Appellate Court Rulings," Pretrial Justice Institute, 2006.

Michelle S. Phelps, "The Paradox of Probation: Community Supervision in the Age of Mass Incarceration," 35 Law & Policy 51 (2013).

Mary Fan, "Street Diversion and Decarceration," 50 American Criminal Law Review 165 (2013) [available in HeinOnline].

Tony Fabelo, Geraldine Nagy, Seth Prins, "A Ten-Step Guide to Transforming Probation Departments to Reduce Recidivism," prepared by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2011.

Laura M. Maruschak and Erika Parks, "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2011," Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012.

Benjamin Forman, John Larivee, "Crime, Cost, and Consequences: Is It Time to Get Smart on Crime?," MassINC, Community Resources for Justice, March 2013 [discusses the current state of corrections in Massachusetts, as well as recent reforms in other states].


National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies - webpage on pretrial diversion with numerous resources

MA Trial Court Law Library -  webpage on MA Law About Sentencing, Probation, and Parole

Pretrial Justice Institute - webpage on diversion programs

Office of the Commissioner of Probation (MA)

Office of Community Corrections (MA)


Compilations of State Laws on Probation

HeinOnline's Subject Compilation of State Laws (1960-2012) database contains bibliographies of law review articles, Web sites, and other sources that compile state laws on particular subjects. From the law library's list of databases, click on HeinOnline, then scroll down to the link to Subject Compilations of State Laws, then click on the Browse the Subjects link to view an alphabetical list of subjects, including probation.

Encyclopedia Articles & Annotations

22A C.J.S. §556-575 Pretrial Intervention of Diversion; Deferred Prosecution and Judgment

21A Am. Jur. 2d §866-869 Pretrial Diversion; Deferral of Prosecution or Adjudication

4 A.L.R. 4th 147 Pretrial diversion: statute or court rule authorizing suspension or dismissal of criminal prosecution on defendant's consent to noncriminal alternative