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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