2012 Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Inter-site Conference
In one of the largest-ever gatherings of leaders committed to reforming the nation’s juvenile justice system, more than 700 judges, prosecutors, probation managers, community activists and other individuals gathered on April 24, in Houston, for a three-day conference to prevent the unnecessary incarceration of children.
The 19th Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) inter-site conference at the Westin Galleria builds on a reform movement that began 20 years ago, when the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation launched an effort to find better, safe and community-based options to locking up young people who get into trouble with the law.
Bart Lubow, the director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and JDAI founder, offered participants a State of the Initiative Address in which he shared JDAI's results and provided a glimpse into its future work involving post-adjudicated youth. In addition to a transcript of the speech (PDF), the talk is available below as a four-part video.
Patrick McCarthy, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's president and CEO, discussed the philanthropy's commitment to system reform and its strategies to achieve better results for children, youth, and families.
The conference featured two panels: one sharing the results of JDAI in Harris County, Texas, and another focused on the importance and value of family engagement by juvenile justice systems.
Harris County Panel
Harris County, Texas began JDAI in 2007 with challenges familiar to many jurisdictions: no consensus as to the purpose of detention, no objective admission screening instrument, extremely limited community engagement, dockets full of low-risk cases, few alternative-to-detention programs, and key deficiencies in its detention facility. This panel discussion provides an overview of Harris County’s achievements.
Justice for Families Panel
The Justice for Families panel discussion shares results from its national survey report, the first comprehensive analysis of family members with court-involved youth, as well as the stories of individual families.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation produced a special conference edition (PDF) of its JDAI News.