Reducing the number of youth in correctional institutions and out-of-home placements is key to reforming the juvenile justice system. The Foundation has selected six local sites – Bernalillo County, N.M.; Jefferson Parish, La.; Lucas County, Ohio; Marion County, Ind.; the city of St. Louis, Mo.; and Washoe County, N.V. – to pilot strategies to safely reduce commitments and other out-of-home placements following delinquency adjudication. The first convening of the pilot sites was held in late June, 2013 in Chicago.
Delegations made up of judges, agency administrators, non-profit representatives, prosecutors, law enforcement, probation officers and frontline staff and supervisors from all six sites attended the inter-site meeting.
In his welcome to the delegations, Bart Lubow, director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, reflected on the first convening of early JDAI sites some 20 years ago. “That first small gathering of JDAI sites laid the groundwork for what is now 200 JDAI sites in 39 states across the country,” he said. “This group of six pilot sites will be building on the reforms started by JDAI.”
The agenda provided opportunities for dialogue on developing strategies for moving from assessment to action, using data to identify reform opportunities and promoting behavior change through effective case planning. Christina Ball, deputy chief probation officer, Marion County, Ind., said that “the inter-site conference allowed our delegation the opportunity to talk specifically about what we wanted to accomplish with this work and reach consensus on the specific core elements. More importantly, however, it provided us the opportunity to have open discussions on broader topics like the purpose of probation.”