Predictors of juveniles' noncompliance with probation requirements

Law Hum Behav. 2014 Dec;38(6):580-91. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000083. Epub 2014 Jun 16.


Probation is the most common disposition for adjudicated youth, but little is known about which specific requirements are commonly imposed on juveniles, the requirements with which juveniles most often fail to comply, and how certain youth characteristics and/or imposed requirements might relate to probation noncompliance. An investigation of 120 archived files of youth represented by an urban public defender's office identified 29 probation requirements imposed on youth and 18 requirements with which youth commonly failed to comply. Results revealed that 52% of youth failed to comply with at least one probation requirement; prior probation noncompliance and race were both significantly associated with noncompliance in the examined probation disposition. In addition, the probability of probation noncompliance was significantly higher when youth received either of two substance-related probation requirements: drug tests or drug and alcohol counseling. Such results may prompt further investigation of juvenile probation-related predictors, identify areas of need for clinical service provision to foster successful completion of probation requirements, and help identify areas of potential biases among juvenile court personnel.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Criminal Law*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / prevention & control
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mandatory Programs / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Social Control, Formal*