Juvenile Court Judges' Commission

Governor's Executive Budget Program Measures

The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC) provides the leadership, advice, training, and support to enable Pennsylvania’s juvenile justice system to achieve its goals related to community protection, offender accountability, restoration of crime victims, and juvenile competency development; and to advise juvenile court judges on matters pertaining to delinquent and dependent children.
Statewide Juvenile Justice Outcome Measures are collected on an annual basis for juvenile offenders who have received a period of supervision from a county juvenile probation department and whose cases were closed from supervision during each calendar year. Outcomes associated with community protection, offender accountability, victim restoration, and competency development are collected. Statewide outcome measure data is available in the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission’s Outcome Measures Report at https://www.jcjc.pa.gov/Research-Statistics/Pages/OutcomeMeasures.aspx.

Community Protection

The public has the right to a safe and secure community. Community members and organizations can take an active role in juvenile crime prevention and intervention efforts through partnerships with juvenile justice practitioners. Schools, employers, and other community groups can offer opportunities to juveniles so their time in the community is structured around education, community-valued work, and service. Through these joint endeavors, the community works to reintegrate juveniles. In addition, there is a wide range of supervision and control options that address juveniles’ risk of committing future illegal acts.
Percentage of juveniles who successfully completed supervision without a new offense resulting in a Consent Decree, Adjudication of Delinquency, Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition, Nolo Contendere, or finding of guilt in a criminal proceeding
The percentage of juveniles closed in 2020 who successfully completed supervision without a new offense (88.0%) was the highest reported rate when looking at the 10-year trend. Since 2011, county juvenile probation departments have supervised and closed 111,068 juvenile cases, with an average successful completion rate of 84.6%.
Percentage of juveniles without a judicial finding of technical violations of probation while under supervision
The percentage of juveniles closed in 2020 who were not petitioned to court for technical violations while under supervision was 84.6%, this is largely in line with outcomes from previous years.

Competency Development

Juveniles who come within the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system should leave the system more capable of being responsible and productive members of their communities. Priority is attached to activities that build skills, strengthen relationships with law-abiding adults, and offer opportunities to contribute to the community. These activities build on juveniles’ strengths and allow them to practice and demonstrate competent behavior. In addition, fostering competencies in juveniles increases self-esteem and reduces behaviors that put them and their communities at risk.
Percentage of juveniles employed or engaged in an educational/vocational activity at case closing
Juveniles who are either in school or working have a significantly greater chance of not belonging to a gang, and avoiding criminal behaviors such as theft, assault, selling drugs, and carrying a handgun.
The percentage of juveniles closed who were involved in an educational or vocational activity decreased slightly from 92.1% in 2019 to 91.6% in 2020. This is the second highest percentage of juveniles involved in an educational or vocational activity in the 10-year trend data.
The most common educational and vocational activities for juveniles with cases closed in 2020 include attending school and passing (65.9%), followed by being employed part-time (20.4%), and graduating high school (15.1%).

Offender Accountability and Restoration of Crime Victims

In Pennsylvania, when a crime is committed by a juvenile, an obligation to the victim and community is incurred. Victims and communities assume active roles in defining both the harm and the appropriate response. Juveniles exhibit true accountability by learning about and acknowledging the harm caused by their behavior, actively assuming and fulfilling their responsibilities for making reparation, paying restitution, and participating in structured activities that benefit the community. The juvenile justice system has a responsibility to ensure juveniles meet their obligation to repair the harm caused by their crimes. It is important that juveniles make and fulfill a commitment to living crime-free lives.
Percentage of juveniles who complete their assigned community service obligations
The number and percentage of juveniles who complete assigned community service obligations and the number of community service hours completed are important measures of success. Most juveniles complete their community service assignments, and the community receives valuable service from these juveniles. Between 2011 and 2020, juvenile offenders have completed 3,575,761 hours of community service. The value of the community service hours completed equates to services worth approximately $25,924,267 based upon a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The percentage of juveniles closed in 2019 who completed their assigned community service was 96.3%. These numbers are second only to outcomes for juveniles whose cases were closed in 2019. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 94.6% of juveniles completed their assigned community service.
Percentage of juveniles who successfully completed a victim awareness curriculum/program while under supervision
The percentage of juveniles closed in 2020 who successfully completed a victim awareness curriculum/program (among those ordered to participate) was 97.0%.
There has been steady growth in the percentage of juveniles ordered to participate in a victim awareness curriculum/program (47.2% in 2020 compared to 39.8% in 2011).
Percentage of juveniles who made full restitution to their victim(s)
Victims of juvenile crime are entitled to be restored, to the extent possible, to their pre-crime economic status. The payment of restitution by the juvenile offender is one of the most important outcomes sought by victims. The number and percentage of juveniles who make full restitution to their victims, and the amount of restitution paid, are measures of how successful the system is in achieving offender accountability and victim restoration. Since 2011, victims of juvenile crime have received $18,902,658 in restitution from juvenile offenders.
The percentage of juveniles closed in 2020 with a restitution obligation who made full restitution to their victim was 88.2%. This is second highest percentage for any year between 2011 and 2020.
Percentage of juveniles who paid Crime Victim's Compensation Fund costs in full
Between 2011 and 2020, the costs collected for the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund totals $2,262,206.
The percentage of juveniles closed in 2020 who paid Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund costs in full (among those ordered to pay) was 90.0%. While there are no major recent trends to report, in 2011, this figure was 83.0% and every year since has been greater.