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NCJ Number: 187575 Find in a Library
Title: Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform Overview; The JDAI Story: Building a Better Juvenile Detention System
Author(s): Rochelle Stanfield
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Baltimore, MD 21202
Sale Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation
701 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This overview for the series of 12 publications entitled, "Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform," presents the objectives, activities, and preliminary results for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), a multi-million-dollar, 5-year, 5-site experiment to streamline and rationalize local juvenile detention systems.
Abstract: The objectives of JDAI were to reduce overcrowding in juvenile detention centers and improve detention conditions without jeopardizing public safety or court appearance rates. The JDAI, which was launched in 1993, involved the following five sites: Cook County, Ill.; Sacramento County, Calif.; Multnomah County, Ore.; Milwaukee County, Wis; and New York City. The JDAI aimed to reduce overcrowding in juvenile detention facilities by substituting community-based alternatives for confinement in the detention center. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which sponsored the project, required each JDAI site to form a central coordinating collaborative of government and nonprofit agencies as well as officials with a role or interest in juvenile justice. The JDAI collaborative process sparked both procedural and program reforms. To use the community-based programs effectively, the jurisdictions had to develop a method of identifying appropriate juveniles for placement in these alternative programs. They established two basic procedures, one to sort out the youth brought in by the police and the other to provide for the release of juveniles already confined in the detention center. The objective was to assess the degree of risk presented by the youth. To make these determinations objectively, the JDAI site developed tests that they called "risk assessment instruments." The instruments relied on easily obtained facts about the youth's history and behavior to predict risk. Those assigned to community-based programs based on the risk assessment were given varying degrees of supervision based on a youth's past history, current behavior, and the offense charged. The most intensive supervision involved home confinement. Three of the sites -- Cook, Multnomah, and Sacramento Counties -- have completed the grant program. The National Council on Crime and delinquency is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of JDAI at these sites. Preliminary data are positive. Over the course of the project, the number of juveniles admitted to detention centers declined at all three sites. The time required to process cases also decreased. To put the reforms in place the sites had to overcome tremendous public pressure to lock up more juveniles. They also had to surmount long-held "turf" concerns, interagency suspicions, and bureaucratic inertia.
Main Term(s): Juvenile detention reform
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; California; Illinois; Juvenile detention; New York; Oregon; Overcrowding; Overcrowding effects; Prison overcrowding; Wisconsin
Note: For other publications in this series, see NCJ-187576-82, 189584, 187586-187587.
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