Pennsylvania Launches JDAI in Four Counties

Posted March 14, 2012, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Pennsylvania is one of the newest states to join JDAI, with sites in Lancaster, Lehigh (including Allentown), Philadelphia, and Allegheny (which includes Pittsburgh) counties agreeing to implement detention reform.

The state JDAI coordinator is Keith Snyder, deputy director of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission (JCJC). The state held a kickoff gathering in Mechanicsburg, where seven to 10 participants per site learned more about JDAI core strategies and the activities expected during start-up.

In addition to immersion in JDAI’s values and core strategies, phase-one start-up activities include enhancing data capacity to ensure data-driven decisions; assessing the current state of juvenile justice systems; and developing a work plan to help drive JDAI.

Pennsylvania’s sites have already undertaken detention utilization studies in partnership with JCJC, which is able to collect and analyze data from the state juvenile justice database, Juvenile Court Management System.

Sites are working with the Center for Children’s Law and Policy to conduct system assessments. A thorough documentation and analysis of juvenile detention policies, programs, and practices are being conducted to inform system reform activities and guide the overall process.

Lehigh and Lancaster each have new evening reporting centers as a result of grants from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. The other two sites have an array of detention alternatives as well.

For more information, contact Keith Snyder.

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