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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, 1985-2018

Year Person Property Drugs Public order
1985 32,300 118,300 14,800 32,400
1986 34,400 122,100 14,400 32,900
1987 32,800 119,100 15,200 32,600
1988 33,300 116,500 16,200 33,000
1989 38,000 125,600 17,200 36,000
1990 42,700 129,800 15,000 37,000
1991 46,600 140,000 13,400 35,600
1992 53,200 143,200 14,800 40,900
1993 59,900 146,900 18,700 49,800
1994 66,400 151,300 25,600 55,600
1995 73,100 155,800 33,900 58,100
1996 77,700 168,900 40,300 68,000
1997 83,700 172,600 45,000 77,000
1998 83,500 162,800 46,200 82,200
1999 86,600 150,300 47,100 85,700
2000 87,300 153,400 48,700 90,600
2001 88,800 145,300 50,000 92,800
2002 89,300 142,500 47,200 91,700
2003 89,900 137,600 44,100 92,900
2004 89,900 129,600 45,300 93,600
2005 88,600 122,100 43,300 88,800
2006 87,800 122,200 42,900 87,500
2007 86,500 122,600 42,400 87,900
2008 85,200 123,200 41,200 86,900
2009 78,400 111,500 36,800 78,200
2010 71,100 97,500 33,900 70,800
2011 66,600 87,600 31,800 65,300
2012 57,600 77,500 28,400 57,700
2013 53,700 69,400 26,700 54,900
2014 51,700 64,400 25,100 51,600
2015 48,500 58,100 20,600 44,600
2016 45,500 51,000 19,100 41,600
2017 44,000 49,300 18,700 38,600
2018 42,400 43,500 16,800 36,300

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

  • Overall, the number of delinquency cases ordered to formal probation nearly doubled between 1985 and 1997, then declined 63% through 2018. The trend for property offense cases followed a similar pattern. After reaching a peak in 1997, the number of property offense cases fell 75% through 2018.
  • Person, public order, and drug cases increased since 1985, but reached their peak later than property cases. Drug offense cases peaked in 2001, person cases peaked in 2003, and public order offense cases peaked in 2004. Since reaching its peak, the number of adjudicated drug offense cases ordered to formal probation fell 66% through 2018, person fell 53%, and public order fell 61% between their peak and 2018.
  • As a result of these changes, the formal probation caseload included greater proportions of person, drug, and public order offense cases in 2018 than in 1985.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/probation/qa07104.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on March 31, 2020.

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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