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Juveniles on Probation
Probation as a Court Disposition
Q: Do trends in the number of adjudicated cases receiving probation vary by offense?
A: The number of adjudicated delinquency cases ordered to formal probation declined for each offense in recent years.

Adjudicated delinquency cases placed on probation, by offense, 1985-2016

Year Person Property Drugs Public order
1985 31,600 115,500 14,600 31,200
1986 34,900 123,900 14,300 31,600
1987 33,500 120,000 15,000 31,300
1988 33,200 117,300 16,000 32,300
1989 38,200 126,500 16,800 34,800
1990 43,500 130,000 14,700 36,500
1991 47,000 139,900 13,000 34,800
1992 53,800 143,400 14,400 39,900
1993 59,300 144,900 18,100 48,300
1994 65,800 149,000 24,700 53,200
1995 73,600 156,000 33,000 56,700
1996 76,000 166,000 39,000 64,300
1997 82,300 169,300 43,400 72,000
1998 82,700 160,400 44,800 77,700
1999 85,700 149,500 45,700 81,100
2000 84,400 149,800 46,900 86,600
2001 85,200 140,500 48,000 87,500
2002 85,900 138,400 45,500 87,300
2003 86,600 133,800 42,800 88,800
2004 86,800 127,100 44,300 90,000
2005 86,400 119,900 42,100 85,300
2006 85,300 119,200 41,400 82,600
2007 84,000 119,500 41,100 82,200
2008 82,700 120,600 40,000 81,700
2009 76,100 109,000 35,500 73,400
2010 70,400 95,800 33,500 66,700
2011 65,600 85,900 31,300 60,900
2012 56,200 74,800 27,700 53,400
2013 52,400 66,900 25,800 51,000
2014 50,900 62,300 24,500 48,400
2015 48,800 57,700 20,600 42,700
2016 45,600 51,000 18,800 40,100

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

  • Overall, the number of delinquency cases ordered to formal probation nearly doubled between 1985 and 1997, then declined 55% through 2016. The trend for property offense cases followed a similar pattern. After reaching a peak in 1997, the number of property offense cases fell 70% through 2016.
  • Person, public order, and drug cases increased since 1985, but reached their peak later than property cases. Drug offense cases peaked in 2001, while person and public order offense cases peaked in 2004. Since reaching its peak, the number of adjudicated drug offense cases ordered to formal probation fell 61% through 2016, while person and public order fell 46% and 56%, respectively, between their peak and 2016.
  • As a result of these changes, the formal probation caseload included greater proportions of person, drug, and public order offense cases in 2016 than in 1985.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/probation/qa07104.asp?qaDate=2016. Released on August 22, 2018.

Adapted from Easy Access to Juvenile Court Statistics. Available on-line at: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezajcs/.

Data Source: National Juvenile Court Data Archive. National Center for Juvenile Justice. Pittsburgh, PA.

 

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