This executive summary is a resource-packed playbook for juvenile justice reformers. It shares examples and advice aimed at helping Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) sites forge effective partnerships with law enforcement agencies on a number of fronts — from detention screenings to trainings on adolescent development. The goal? Help these sites reduce the use of unnecessary detention while improving public safety outcomes at the same time.
Wanted: Strong, productive connections with law enforcement agencies
Findings & Stats
Not a Focus
State law enforcement academies devote just 1% of their training time to youth issues, most of which is spent on juvenile law.
Room for Improvement
Just one in six law enforcement leaders reports that juvenile justice agencies and community organizations regularly consult them about youth-related issues.
The choices that officers make about arresting youth — and youths’ perceptions about the fairness of officers — can shape both a young person’s long-term well-being and their risk of offending in the future.
Statements & Quotations
The beauty of [the JDAI] collaborative is that we had all the right people in the room. Everyone was on the same page, and there was already an environment of trust.
– Kevin Bethel, former deputy police commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department
If you take care of the small things effectively with teens, behaviors do not escalate and the big things often take care of themselves.
– William Dean, deputy chief of the Virginia Beach Police Department
Subscribe to our newsletter to get our data, reports and news in your inbox.