In 1927 the book ‘Probation in Europe’ written by T.W. Trought was published. After the United States had adopted the American Federal Probation law in 1925 and England signed the English Statute Book of the Criminal Justice Act in 1925, the author decided that it was a good time to see if other countries went through the same kind of developments.
Trought collected information about 29 jurisdictions in Europe, based on a rather simple questionnaire. According to him one of the most fundamental difficulties was deciding the definition of probation. How can you say if a country has a probation system or not? Trought stated that the following elements are essential for a probation system: prevention of crime, reformation/re-education of offenders, the existence of a probationary period, the existence of diagnosis and treatment and also the involvement of the community. Based on these criteria, nineteen countries had a probation system in Europe at that time.