As highlighted by the probation revocation of Meek Mill:
An appalling one out of every 53 adults in America is under parole or probation supervision. As with every other area of our criminal justice system, the racial disparities are alarming. One in four young black males is under correctional control in the U.S. Most of them are on probation and parole.
The article accurately recounts the facts of being on probation:
The average person carries 15 conditions as part of their probation. A violation of any of them, like missing an appointment, failing a drug test, associating with another person with a felony conviction, or failing to pay a fine, can and often does result in incarceration. Because of this, probation and parole—founded as alternatives to incarceration—have become punitive systems that actually drive incarceration.
Most frustrating, the DA must only prove the evidence by a preponderance of the evidence; beyond-a-reasonable doubt does not apply in probation revocation hearing. Even worse, hearsay is allowed in these hearing.
Most crazy statistic:
The result? Almost half of all the entrants into prison last year were incarcerated for a probation or parole violation.