Beyond Detention

System Transformation Through Juvenile Detention Reform

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

January 1, 2007


This report, the 14th installment in the Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform series, features three sites that created a kinder, fairer detention system for America’s troubled youth. Readers will learn how these jurisdictions — hot on the heels of reform success — rallied their freshly-sharpened toolkits and reenergized spirits to focus on a new task: Transforming the entire juvenile justice system. And guess what? The leap to a larger stage paid off.  

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Some key findings, courtesy of JDAI

Thanks to JDAI, sites uncovered some important truths that extend far beyond the arena of detention reform. They learned that: data is powerful; community organizations are invaluable; collaboration is good; and objective decision making is essential.

Findings & Stats

569 beyond Detention 1

Model Move: Cook County

Illinois’ Cook County Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department set out to transform its white, male-dominated staff into a workforce that better reflected the clients they served. One means to this end? Creating a competitive scholarship program to help educate and train about 50 former probationers each year — almost all of whom are youth of color.

569 beyond Detention 2

Proven Solutions

Both Cook and Multnomah counties adopted a model called Multisystemic Therapy to help tackle the complicated issue of delinquency and substance abuse. This science-based approach involves four to six months of intensive, family-based treatment — not incarceration — and saves taxpayers more than $7,000 per youth served.

Statements & Quotations