New Leadership Seeks to Re-energize Detention Reform in Baltimore

Posted March 17, 2012

Under new lead­er­ship, the JDAI site in Bal­ti­more, Mary­land, is rein­vig­o­rat­ing its col­lab­o­ra­tive and using a strate­gic plan­ning process to bring a renewed focus to its deten­tion reform work.

As always, the ulti­mate goal of our JDAI work is to reduce the use of deten­tion place­ments for pre-adju­di­cat­ed youth with­out any neg­a­tive impact to pub­lic safe­ty,” said Sam Abed, Sec­re­tary of the Mary­land Depart­ment of Juve­nile Ser­vices (DJS). By refo­cus­ing our JDAI efforts in Bal­ti­more City, DJS has a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to align its objec­tives with cur­rent trends.”

As part of the effort to reset JDAI and to increase its capac­i­ty for data-dri­ven activ­i­ties, DJS con­duct­ed a com­pre­hen­sive analy­sis of deten­tion uti­liza­tion. The Deten­tion Uti­liza­tion Study was com­plet­ed with tech­ni­cal assis­tance from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Maryland’s Insti­tute for Gov­ern­men­tal Ser­vices and Research, and the Casey Foundation’s Juve­nile Jus­tice Strat­e­gy Group.

Addi­tion­al­ly as part of the strate­gic plan­ning process, the Cen­ter for Children’s Law and Pol­i­cy con­duct­ed a com­pre­hen­sive sys­tem assess­ment, DJS hired a new JDAI coor­di­na­tor, and the depart­ment ini­ti­at­ed a quar­ter­ly train­ing pro­gram for super­vi­sors and line-lev­el staff on JDAI core strategies.

In Jan­u­ary 2012 DJS con­vened a day­long retreat to rein­tro­duce stake­hold­ers to the JDAI process and estab­lish sub­com­mit­tees and work­groups. The depart­ment shared the results from the sys­tem assess­ment and trends from the uti­liza­tion study, and facil­i­tat­ed a dis­cus­sion on the imme­di­ate chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties fac­ing the initiative.

In addi­tion to new data-gath­er­ing projects, DJS is now look­ing to expe­dite ser­vices and pro­gram­ming for youth who are involved in the deep end’ of the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem. With improved capac­i­ty for data-dri­ven deci­sion mak­ing, I am con­fi­dent that the new focus on Bal­ti­more City JDAI will yield bet­ter out­comes for youth in our care,” Abed added.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Lisa Gar­ry.

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