Shock probation is a sentencing alternative available in most jurisdictions in the United States.
Shock probation involves sentencing a convicted criminal defendant to a short period of time in a correctional facility and then placing him or her on more traditional probation. A typical term of incarceration in a shock probation sentence is 30 days or less.
The purpose for shock probation includes the theory that sending a criminal defendant into the penal system, even for a short period of time, "shocks" the individual. The "shock" works to encourage an offender to adopt a law-abiding lifestyle.