After Former NFL defensive end Johnny Jolly was given shock probation, many sports fans are wondering what the legal term even means.

By definition, Shock probation allows defendants an opportunity to receive probation earlier than expected, as a result of the inmate suffering from shock or trauma of being in jail.

The theory underlying shock probation is that immersing a defendant in the penal system for an extended period of time could shock him or her into a noncriminal lifestyle, essentially making him fit to live freely amongst society.

According to studied research, shock probation is more effective in avoiding the repetition of crime (recidivism) by the offender as a long-term jail sentence.

Like other forms of probation, shock probation is not granted to a criminal offender as a matter of right but is permitted at the judge's discretion.

The former Texas A&M star faced drug charges in Houston after his July 2008 arrest outside a club for possession of at least 200 grams of codeine.

He was then charged again in 2011 with possession of a compound containing codeine, a controlled substance, after a traffic stop in Houston in October.

Jolly was eventually sentenced to six years in prison last November by State District Judge Denise Bradley for charges of drug possession and tampering with evidence, according to ESPN.

The former Green Bay Packer applied for shock probation, which he received earlier this week, along with 200 hours of community service. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine.

Jolly, who grew up in Houston, was a sixth-round draft pick of the Packers in 2006 after playing at Texas A&M. He was a starter for the Packers in 2008 and 2009. However, he sat out the 2010 season after being suspended by the NFL indefinitely the previous July.