The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is dedicated to restructuring the youth justice system and to create a more efficient approach to detaining youth. Using big data, JDAI helps communities reduce wasteful spending detaining non-violent youth, which allows the money that is save to be redirected toward more effective public safety solutions.
This brief provides an overview of the success JDAI has had in several communities, as well as the approach and goals of the initiative.
In Oregon, JDAI helped to offset the need for three detention units between 1998 and 2001, saving $2.4 million in each year in detention operating costs, and a total of more than $17 million in cumulative savings.
By safely reducing the number of young people detained on any given day, JDAI enabled Cook County (Illinois) to forego a $300 million and 20-year construction plan. With JDAI alternative strategies, the county is projected to save $250 million over 20-years.
JDAI increases system efficiency by identifying backlogs and/or delays and help to reduce lengths of stay in detention and expand program resources. JDAI saves money by developing detention alternatives to supervise young people in the community.