In Pennsylvania, the Legislature set forth a list of factors a judge should use when making his determination as to whether a defendant should be sentenced to probation or imprisonment.

The factors are set forth in the sentencing code and are: the criminal conduct of the defendant neither caused nor threatened serious harm; the defendant did not contemplate that his conduct would cause or threaten serious harm; the defendant acted under strong provocation; there were substantial grounds tending to excuse or justify the criminal conduct of the defendant, though failing to establish a defense; the victim of the criminal conduct of the defendant introduced or facilitated its commission; the defendant has compensated or will compensate the victim of his criminal conduct for the damage or injury he sustained; the defendant has no history of prior delinquency or criminal activity or has led a law-abiding life for a substantial period of time before the commission of the present crime; the criminal conduct was a result of circumstances unlikely to recur; the character and attitudes of the defendant indicate that he is unlikely to commit another crime; the defendant is particularly likely to respond affirmatively to probationary treatment; the confinement of the defendant would entail excessive hardship to himself or his dependents; such other grounds as indicate the desirability of probation.