Predicting Probation Revocation and Residential Facility Placement at Juvenile Probation Review Hearings: Youth-Specific and Hearing-Specific Factors

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Although most justice-involved youth receive probation as a community-based alternative to residential facility placement, many of these youth are later committed to residential facilities when their probation dispositions are revoked at probation review hearings. The limited research investigating predictors of facility placement following juvenile probation revocation has focused primarily on youth-specific factors rather than on factors that can change from hearing to hearing, such as noncompliance with court-imposed probation conditions. The current study addressed this gap, using generalized estimating equation analyses with 77 youths’ archived public defender files—providing data from 268 review hearings—to evaluate the role of both youth-specific factors (e.g., demographic characteristics) and hearing-specific factors (e.g., noncompliance with imposed probation requirements) in residential facility commitment. Results revealed that youth who were absent from the examined review hearing, were rearrested, failed to comply with school-related probation requirements, or failed to appear as directed at the prior review hearing were more likely to have probation revoked and be placed in a juvenile correctional facility. Such findings might help identify groups of youth at greater risk for facility commitment and might inform the guidance provided to juvenile probationers by their families, attorneys, and probation officers.

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