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Juvenile Intensive Probation (JIPS)

When your child is adjudicated for a crime in Arizona, they may be subject to different outcomes. Your child might be sent to a juvenile facility, adult prison, or placed under standard probation. The sentence depends on the severity of the delinquent act or crime and the experience of the criminal attorney you hire for their legal representation.

In particular, if the minor has committed a second felony offense or is deemed a high-risk offender by the court, they may be committed to Juvenile Intensive Probation (JIPS). The program is an alternative to adult prison incarceration, but the regulations are almost the same.

If your child is under the JIPS program, you need to understand their rights, the regulations that govern the program, and what you need to do as a parent or guardian of the juvenile. An experienced criminal attorney is required to provide legal advice and ensure your minor’s rights are protected. You can rely on the Phoenix Criminal Attorney team’s juvenile criminal defense experience to help your loved one with the Juvenile Intensive Probation process.

Legal Definition of JIPS

Intensive probation is a closely monitored and highly structured program designed to divert delinquent offenders from overcrowded facilities or those required to leave their home environment. The program’s objective is to show minor offenders that probation means accountability, consequences, and productive rehabilitative activities, all geared to preventing repeat offenses.

Arizona initiated the program in 1987, as per A.R.S. 8-351. Its services are provided to juvenile offenders within their home environment and combine surveillance, education, community protection, work, and accountability, proving to be the productive alternative to minors who have obtained out-of-home placements.

The program works closely with other agencies to ensure adequate rehabilitation. These agencies include:

  • Relapse prevention programs
  • Social services
  • Mental health organizations
  • Educational or vocational centers
  • Counseling services
  • Addiction resources
  • Community treatment programs

Incorporating all these services together ensures juvenile offenders are rehabilitated for good and become better and responsible adults.

What Can I Expect From The Program?

Once your child is enrolled under the JIPS program, they should expect multiple face-to-face weekly meetings with their probation officers. Two officers are usually assigned at most twenty-five offenders to supervise, which makes close surveillance possible. The probation department officer handling the case will make unannounced visits to conduct random alcohol or drug screening. They also work home searches to ensure the minor is not hiding any contraband or firearm in the house. As a parent or legal guardian of the minor, you, their family, treatment providers, and employers must keep in touch with the probation officer to monitor progress.

Under the program, you should expect the child to be under electronic monitoring and regular surveillance. You will also part with a considerable amount of money as probation fees on behalf of the delinquent youth. If the child has an income, they must submit their income to the probation department to deduct the supervision fees before releasing the remaining amount.

JIPS is deemed as an alternative to adult prison. Someone classified as a high-risk defendant without strict supervision and surveillance should be in jail. However, due to the need to avoid overcrowding in prisons and provide an alternative to those minors who obtain out-of-home placement, JIPS was initiated.

Merits and Demerits of Juvenile Intensive Probation

Commitment to this program is beneficial to your child because it’s an alternative to an adult prison sentence. Even if the offense committed requires incarceration, the program offers the juvenile a sense of freedom after their petition has been sustained but under intensive probation.

Similarly, the program has proved to be more effective than jail or prison custody. With the treatment programs available and training, the number of repeat offenders or recidivism has reduced significantly. When your delinquent child comes out of the program, they are completely transformed and are less likely to reoffend, making JIPS more effective than incarceration.

With many prison and juvenile facilities dealing with overcrowding, JIPS offers a solution to the problem by not imprisoning defenders who would have otherwise been incarcerated. Though these facilities are still overcrowded, the number of caseloads for inmates has significantly reduced.

Besides, the community benefits a lot from the program. The close supervision or surveillance of the high-risk juvenile offenders promotes compliance with intensive probation and lawful conduct conditions.

Furthermore, the costs of placing the juvenile under the program are considerably lower than that of incarcerating the defendants. The program’s successful completion also means fewer minor offenders are committed to the ADJC, preventing overcrowding and creating room for more serious criminal offenders. The minor will be required to pay restitution fees to the victims of their actions and perform community service, all of which are beneficial to society.

On the other hand, the program may also be a disadvantage because it allows felons who should be in prison to live in the community, posing grave danger to other community members. Although these individuals are highly supervised and under surveillance, they still pose a threat to you, as a parent, other people, and themselves because they possess the ability to make harmful decisions.

For your child, you might have the feeling that they are free because they are not held in a prison or jail but still under strict supervision.

Who is Eligible for the Program?

Not everyone is eligible for Juvenile Intensive Probation. The few juvenile defendants who qualify for the program include:

  • Delinquents who could have otherwise been committed to a juvenile correction facility or out-of-home placement.
  • Minor offenders should be included in the JIPS program based on the probation officer’s evaluation of the child’s needs and risk. The probation officer’s evaluation depends on the criminal history, the severity of the offense, the history of referrals and adjustments, and your recommendations as a parent or guardian of the juvenile offender.
  • Delinquent offenders who are repeat felony offenders

If the judge sustains the petition at your child’s disposition hearing, they might recommend the minor be placed under the JIPS program. The court’s decision depends on the juvenile’s previous juvenile record, the nature of your current delinquent act, the sentence or disposition summary report, and technical violations of probation.

Note that the judge does not just impose the JIPS program. They must give reasons for putting you under the program based on the guardian’s recommendations and circumstances of the case. From July 1997, thousands of youth who have been adjudicated as repeat felony offenders have been committed to the ADJC, placed under JIPS programs,  or sent to prison.

What Conditions must Probationers Meet Under the Program?

As a participant or probationer under the JIPS, your child must comply with several specific conditions. These conditions are:

  1. Participate in any of the following activities approved by the court or your probation officer at least 32 hours a week.
  • A court-imposed treatment program
  • School
  • Monitored community labor
  • Employment
  • Any activity that enhances the minor’s prosocial skill development, including improving the child’s relationship or bonding with other family members.
  1. Victim restitution and monthly probation fee payment. Note that your inability to raise the probation fees or restitute the victims of your child’s actions doesn’t make the minor ineligible for the intensive probation supervision program.
  2. Remaining at your residence all the time except to attend school, work, perform community labor or service, or engage in particular activities as required by the child’s probation officer.
  3. Allow for random administration of drug or alcohol screening as required by the juvenile probation officer and other JIPS team members.
  4. Meet or complete any other set conditions or goals by the court, including electronic monitoring and surveillance to meet the juvenile’s specific needs or reduce the risk they pose to society.

Who Controls JIPS?

Arizona has a JIPS program in its fifteen counties, all of which the Arizona Supreme Court monitors. Each of the programs is unique and created to meet the county’s specific needs with the limited resources.

Who are the Individuals that Monitor the Program?

If your kid is going to be placed or has been placed under JIPS, it’s critical to know the people that will be supervising them. Typically, the JIPS team is made up of probation officers and surveillance officers who do the monitoring. Two individuals from the team may supervise at most 25 juveniles, while a three-person team oversees a maximum of 40 juvenile offenders. The role of the team members is:

  • Maintain complete personal identification records of the delinquents
  • Hold face-to-face meetings with each program participant no more than four times a week and contact the family members, guardians, treatment program, or school to evaluate the juvenile’s progress.
  • Closely supervise each participant’s conduct, including their evening and weekend activities.
  • Closely supervise payments of restitution to victims

The JIPS team relays collected information to all the relevant local law enforcement agencies for further oversight.

Remember that particular County departments with over 300,000 JIPS participants assign one probation officer a maximum of fifteen probationers but request a waiver from the Court’s Administrative Office.

What are Other Juvenile Intervention Programs for the Phoenix Juvenile Court Process?

The most commonly committed juvenile delinquent acts in Phoenix include:


Shoplifting involves removing products from a merchant without paying the required price. Shoplifting consists of removing the price tag of a product and changing it with a lower purchase price with the plans of depriving the merchant of its fair value or the entire goods.


The offense occurs when your child recklessly or deliberately inflicts bodily harm on another person. Causing somebody else to reasonably be afraid of their safety or their close family’s security is also deemed assault.

Being an Accomplice in the Commission of an Offense — Arizona statutes will hold your child accountable for aiding or being an accomplice in a crime. They will face the same consequences as the principal party if proven they assisted or attempted to help somebody else commit an offense.


The theft crime occurs when a minor knowingly and without the owner’s consent acquires compensable services without parting with money or agrees to pay for a service or property but withhold the payment after taking control of the property or completing the service.

These are minor offenses that juvenile intervention programs can aid in rehabilitating. Examples of intervention programs for minors with sustained petitions for these offenses include:

  • Be Awesome offered in Maricopa county
  • Pima County Juvenile Court Center
  • Arizona Youth Partnership offered in Mohave county
  • Community Bridges which is a pre-arrest program

How does Juvenile Intensive Probation Differ from Standard Probation?

JIPS is different from standard probation in several ways. One, JIPS is for high-risk offenders with a prior sustained petition of severe felonies. Formal probation is for minors who commit minor offenses, and whose sustained petitions don’t involve incarceration.

On reporting, juvenile offenders must report to the JIPS team up to four times a week, while under the standard probation program, reporting is scheduled for once a month.

Another difference between the two programs is that under JIPS, the child is put under house arrest and can only visit restricted areas like work or school. On the other end, standard probation doesn’t involve electronic monitoring allowing your child to leave home because they are not under constant surveillance freely.

Standard probation is more focused on warning the minor than punishing and making them accountable for their actions. The minor needs to commit another offense or violate the terms of probation to face punishment. However, with JIPS, the purpose is to show the juvenile the consequences of not becoming a rehabilitated person and creating accountability. It is a way of supervising a high-risk juvenile offender to ensure they don’t commit another crime by imposing regulations like those of a prison.

How Does a Delinquent Youth End Up Under JIPS Program?

You already know the meaning of JIPS and its eligibility. However, the question that might be on your mind is how a minor ends up under the program? The answer to this question is a detailed one, but it begins with appearing before a juvenile court.

What Happens when your Child GoES Before the Juvenile Delinquency Court Process?

As mentioned earlier, JIPS is the program for delinquent youths adjudicated with second felony offenses. For this reason, if your child is arrested for a serious crime, they are likely to be returned home to you awaiting a hearing or be detained.

During this challenging time, you will need to speak to a criminal attorney experienced in handling juvenile delinquency cases, understand how the JIPS works, and those who end up under the program. However, before the juvenile offender reaches the adjudication and disposition stage, their attorney can present evidence to contest the petition or charges. Their attorney’s experience comes into play at this point because they must use evidence to demonstrate to the judge that the minor did not engage in a delinquent act.

After the case is adjudicated and the judge decides to sustain your child’s petition, they must determine the kind of rehabilitation they need. The judge has the discretion to impose the disposition they deem right based on their needs and the offense’s nature. You need to hire, on their behalf, an attorney who understands the impact of any of the sentences a judge might impose to work diligently to ensure your child’s future is not in jeopardy.

Why is an Attorney Critical in Your Minor’s Detention Hearing?

According to statistics, there are 130,000 delinquent youths detained nationwide annually, with 70,000 in detention facilities every day. This number is high despite there being no correlation between detention and deterrent of future crimes. Incarceration has also proved disruptive and reduces juveniles’ chances of returning to school after completing the jail term.

In Arizona, out of all the juveniles incarcerated as delinquent youths:

  • Over 30% suffered severe mental conditions
  • Over 20% were placed in special education lessons after returning to school
  • Around fifteen percent were both delinquent and dependent
  • Approximately fifteen percent arrived in detention with zero-high school credit

Incarceration of delinquent youths only enhances mental illness and school delinquency. Having your child incarcerated in an adult prison or held in detention has proved disruptive and damaging, leaving the juvenile with life-changing problems that are difficult to overcome.

Luckily, with the help of a juvenile criminal attorney that understands these cases, they can present all the required facts to eliminate or reduce the time your child is held in a correctional facility. Suppose your attorney is familiar with Juvenile Intensive Probation supervision. In that case, they can present facts against the petition to convince the judge to put your minor under the program as an alternative to incarceration.

An attorney will highlight the disadvantage of imprisoning a minor and how an intensive probation program effectively rehabilitates and prevents re-offending. That way, the judge can impose the program instead of sending your child to prison. The program has many benefits, which they can easily enjoy if you hire the right attorney to represent them in the juvenile court.

Find a Juvenile Delinquency Attorney Near Me

If your child is under Juvenile Intensive Probation or has questions regarding the program’s requirement, you are welcome to contact Phoenix Criminal Attorney at 602-551-8092 for legal help. We understand that many delinquent youths end up being incarcerated because of a lack of guidance on the JIPS’ conditions. Our attorneys will help you understand these conditions and contact the probation department regarding any advice you need on your child’s intensive probation.

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