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Basic services, 2017

  • Overall

    Locally operated

  • Detention

    Locally operated

  • Probation

    Locally operated

  • Reentry

    State operated

The Juvenile Justice Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), is responsible for the administration of juvenile justice programs for delinquent and incorrigible youth in coordination with the juvenile courts. The 15 juvenile courts are a division of the Arizona Superior Court.

In Arizona, county probation departments operate under the authority of a presiding juvenile court judge. Each presiding juvenile court judge has the authority to appoint the chief juvenile probation officer/director of juvenile court services. This position supervises the county probation office and administers detention.

The state executive agency, Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (DJC), administers aftercare services.

Corrections agency, 2015

  • Independent juvenile corrections agency

  • Family/child welfare agency or division

  • Broad human services agency

  • Adult corrections agency or division

The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) administers commitments to state juvenile correctional facilities and aftercare services for youth leaving those facilities.

Solitary confinement, 2016

  • Prohibits punitive confinement

  • Limits punitive confinement

  • No limits on punitive confinement

  • Did not respond

Solitary confinement for punitive purposes is not allowed in Arizona's juvenile correctional facilities. Non-punitive segregation (imposed when juvenile poses danger to self or others)is permitted for up to 24 hours without a hearing. A hearing is required for confinement beyond 24 hours and a tiered level of approval is required for confinement beyond 48 hours.  (Adapted from 51 Jurisdiction Survey of Juvenile Solitary Confinement Rules in Juvenile Justice Systems, 2016. Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest at Lowenstein Sandler LLP)

Release decision, 2016

  • Agency

  • Court

  • Parole board

  • Agency and court

The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections makes release decisions. A Superintendent’s Review Board, which is usually comprised of three administrators from Behavioral Health Services, Education, and a facility superintendent or assistant superintendent, determines release from secure care. The mandated Arizona Risk/Need Assessment Instrument is used for re-assessments at this stage of juvenile justice processing. The juvenile court is not required to review release decisions, but the committing court is notified of all potential and actual releases.

Risk assessment, 2017

Organization 2013 2017
Statewide uniform assessment
Layered/regional assessment
Locally administered assessment

In Arizona, county probation departments operate under the authority of a presiding juvenile court judge. Arizona state statute requires the use of a risk/needs assessment for all youth at probation intake. This risk screening, the Arizona Risk Assessment, is one component of the five-part Arizona Youth Assessment System (AZYAS) that was adopted statewide as of July 1, 2013. Implementation of another component of the AZYAS, the Disposition Tool, varies across jurisdictions per county policy. The other sections are completed by the Department of Corrections.

Information from the Arizona Risk Assessment and the Disposition Tool is used for developing probation disposition recommendations to the juvenile court and developing probation case plans Arizona plans to aggregate the data from the assessments in the future to support local reliability and validity testing, to assist probation administration and planning, and for ongoing policy research.

Risk instruments, 2017

  • Statute or agency policy

    Required by state or administrative regulation

  • Agency recommended

    Recommended by probation oversite agency

Risk instruments tool used
Arizona Youth Assessment System (AZYAS)

Mental health screening, 2014

Requires a research-based mental health screening

  • Secure detention

  • Probation

  • Corrections

Mental health screening tool used
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument –Version 2 (MAYSI-2)

In Arizona, the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections has an administrative policy that requires the use of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument, 2nd Edition (MAYSI-2) as part of the admission process. The MAYSI-2 is specifically named in the policy. Detention standards require mental health screenings but do not specify any certain tool. The MAYSI-2 is used in some detention centers but not uniformly adopted. Probation utilizes a risk assessment instrument which has a mental health domain. The state funds automation and technical assistance for the MAYSI-2 in corrections.

Frameworks for evidence-based practices, 2014

  • Statute

    Supporting commitment to EBPs

  • Administrative regulations

    Either in corrections, probation, or the juvenile court

  • Support center

    Or collaboration dedicated to coordinating activities around implementing, evaluating, and sustaining EBPs

  • No stance

    No official stance on EBPs

  • Did not respond

    State did not respond to the survey

Arizona's Juvenile Justice Services Division of the Administrative Office of the Arizona Courts (AOC) recently began a process of certifying counties (community programs/probation) as EBP compliant. Counties have newly developed judicial codes to follow and are given until 2015 to adopt them. The new code applies evidence based practices to traditional probation supervision. Theses codes 6301.01, 6302.02, and 6105.01 have all been revised. They have plans to make outcome data public but this set up is very new. The EBP Resource Library is internal and will house county policies to share with other counties.

Programs for probationers have previously undergone a SPEP evaluation in 2008. ADJC uses the Correctional Program Checklist (CPC) to evaluate the programming offered by the ADJC clinical team as well as the programming provided to youth when they are released from secure care and placed with a private provider in the community.

The CPC is an evidence based assessment tool that was developed by Dr. Edward Latessa and colleagues at the University of Cincinnati.

Recidivism reporting, 2016

Study populations

The group(s) of youth being studied in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Re-offense events

Events that are used to measure recidivism in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • Arrest

  • Court action

  • Supervision

  • Placement

Follow-up periods

Details regarding the length of time and frequency that youth are tracked in states that publicly report recidivism data.

36 months with interval and adult systems reporting


Additional levels of analysis provided in states that publicly report recidivism data.

  • County

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Race/ethn.

  • Risk level

  • Initial offense

  • Re-offense

  • Prior history

Arizona publishes two reports on juvenile recidivism. The Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) defines recidivism as a return to custody (ADJC or Arizona Department of Corrections) following release from a first time ADJC commitment. Rates are reported for 12, 24, and 36 month intervals with a maximum follow up period of 36 months. The Arizona Supreme Court Juvenile Justice Services Division publishes recidivism rates for youth in the Juvenile Intensive Probation Supervision. Recidivism is defined as a re-referral to court while in the program during the reporting year.

Data sources

Just the Facts (Jan. 2015)
Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections
Juvenile Intensive Probation Supervision Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Report
Arizona Supreme Court, Juvenile Justice Services Division

About this project

Juvenile Justice GPS (Geography, Policy, Practice, Statistics) is a project to develop a repository providing state policy makers and system stakeholders with a clear understanding of the juvenile justice landscape in the states.

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