Reducing Probation Revocations in Pima County, Arizona

Research Report

Reducing Probation Revocations in Pima County, Arizona


Probation revocation to jail or prison can result when a person is arrested for a new crime or is in violation of their probation conditions. The nature of probation supervision and how these violations relate to revocation varies depending on individual factors and the local context. Through the Reducing Revocations Challenge, the Urban Institute partnered with the Adult Probation Services Division of the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts and the Pima County Adult Probation Department to shed light on the revocation pathways in Pima County and to identify policy solutions to address them. Specifically, this mixed-methods study aimed to examine 1) the types of noncompliance that occur (i.e., new crimes and technical violations); 2) probation officer and judicial responses to noncompliance; and 3) the role of client, caseload, and supervision characteristics on formal violations and revocation. This report presents our analysis of administrative probation data contextualized by a qualitative assessment of state and local policies, probation client case files, and interviews with probation officers, judges, and community providers. This allowed us to explore in-depth the factors, circumstances, and behaviors that drive both petitions for revocation and revocation outcomes. We provide policy implications based on these findings to safely reduce revocations and maximize supervision success.

Research Area: 


To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.