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Characteristics and Trends of Delinquency Cases Resulting in Probation

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2019
1 page

The National Center for Juvenile Justice, with funding from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), reports data estimates on juvenile cases that received probation for the period 2005 -2017.


Between 2005 and 2017, probation was the most common disposition for delinquency cases that received a sanction, followed by another sanction, out-of-home placement, and waiver to criminal court. The number of juvenile probation dispositions, however, has declined every year from 2008 through 2017. Compared to informal probation, formal probation accounted for more than half of the overall probation caseload between 2005 and 2017. In 2017, juveniles ages 13-15 composed the largest age group receiving formal probation (47 percent); males composed 78 percent of juveniles receiving formal probation; and white youth (42 percent) were the largest racial group on probation, followed by Black youth (36 percent), and Hispanic youth (19 percent). Between 2005 and 2017, the number of formal probation cases decreased by at least 50 percent for all offense groups. In 2017, adjudicated drug cases were more likely than other offense categories to result in formal probation. 5 figures

Date Published: August 1, 2019