Having recently convinced a client that he was better off serving a short sentence in jail than serving a long period of probation, I started reading up on the issue and came across this interesting article. Apparently, in Philadelphia, 1 in 23 adults is on probation or parole. Violations of those terms can, and often do, lead to substantial time behind bars. Why is a system that’s supposed to keep people out of jail putting so many people at risk of incarceration? Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Samantha Melamed says one big reason is the wide discretion judges have in these cases.