The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Helping vulnerable kids & families succeed

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

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Sites and Contacts

JDAI is being replicated in 200 jurisdictions in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Many more localities have applied to participate. Experience has shown that sites are ready to undertake JDAI when the political will and administrative acumen to succeed exists. The Annie E. Casey Foundation offers modest grant support to sites for training, planning and coordination, as well as an elaborate mix of technical support, staff training, resource materials and opportunities to learn from a growing network of reform sites. The model sites are a powerful way to share practical information about JDAI through peer-to-peer discussion and on-site observation. Visits to model sites are prioritized for places replicating JDAI.

For more information, contact the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiatives at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 701 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland  21202; 410.547.6600.

The JDAI Helpdesk maintains a current list of all JDAI sites.

JDAI Model Sites

Bernalillo County (Albuquerque), New Mexico JDAI reduced the detention population by 44 percent. In order to achieve this outcome, Bernalillo County methodically reorganized its resources, budget and staff to focus on community-based treatment and innovative policies that cost taxpayers less money. Then the Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center reassigned staff to front-end services and closed secure units, saving the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. Adhering to JDAI concepts has also allowed the State of New Mexico, Children, Youth and Families Department to close its maximum-security facility in 2003. Some of the cost savings went into acquiring portable buildings outside the detention center’s razor-wire fence to house an alternative public school, a community-custody program, a day treatment program and a mental health clinic.

Doug E. Mitchell, JDAI Coordinator
Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center
5100 Second St. NW
Albuquerque NM, 87107

Cook County (Chicago), Illinois JDAI reduced its average daily population in locked detention from 682 to 420 between 1996 and 2005. Cook County leaders developed alternatives to locked detention for young people who don’t pose a serious threat of fleeing or reoffending, including community-based evening reporting centers that offer constructive activities during afternoons and early evenings while allowing youth to stay at home and in school.

Michael J. Rohan, Director
Carmen Casas, Deputy Chief JDAI Coordinator
Juvenile Probation and Court Services
1100 S. Hamilton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612

Multnomah County (Portland), Oregon JDAI substantially reduced the disproportionate confinement of minority youth by sharply lowering the overall population in detention by 65 percent and targeted strategies aimed at reducing disparities. Those strategies included effective and culturally appropriate community-based alternatives, including shelter care, home detention, and a day reporting center. Multnomah developed an objective, culturally sensitive risk assessment instrument and created a seven person intake team to review each and every detention decision .The county expedited procedures to process cases, which reduced lengths of stay in detention, and implemented non-secure sanctions for probation violators. As a result the likelihood that an arrested youth will be detained is now about the same for all racial and ethnic groups.

Rick Jensen, System Reform Administrator
Tina Edge, System Reform & Community Placement Coordinator
Multnomah County Department of Community Justice
1401 NE 68th Avenue
Portland, OR 97213

Santa Cruz County, California JDAI sharply reduced its detention population while concurrently experiencing a reduction in juvenile crime. Santa Cruz's detention reform efforts resulted in saving the county millions of dollars by avoiding the construction and staffing of a new detention facility. Since implementing JDAI, the juvenile hall population has been reduced by more than half, averaging more than 50 youth per day in 1996 and just 22 in 2005. In addition, juvenile felony arrests are down 48 percent and misdemeanor arrests are down 43 percent. Santa Cruz used an objective screening process to only detain high risk offenders and developed alternative programs and procedures for low and medium risk youth. Santa Cruz developed meaningful partnerships with community based organizations to provide culturally responsive alternatives to detention, as well as programming from diversion to family preservation. The reduction of racial/ethnic disparities and disproportionate minority confinement has been an integral component of their detention reform work. As a result, Santa Cruz has significantly narrowed the gap between Latino youth representation in the general population and the detention population.

Gina Castaneda, JDAI Model Site Coordinator
Probation Department of Santa Cruz County, California

Scott MacDonald, Chief Probation Officer
Fernando Giraldo, Juvenile Division Director
Probation Department of Santa Cruz County, California
P.O. Box 1812
3650 Graham Hill Road
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

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