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Shock probation is governed by federal and state laws, which vary by jurisdiction. Shock probation allows defendants an opportunity to receive probation after a short period of time in a correctional facility. The theory underlying shock probation is that immersing a defendant in the penal system for a short period of time could 'shock' him or her into a noncriminal lifestyle.
Like other forms of probation, shock probation is a matter of privilege rather than a right or entitlement. As with any decision to award probation or suspend sentence, the decision to grant shock probation is granted as an act of grace to one convicted of a crime.