Replicating Detention Reform

Lessons from the Florida Detention Initiative

Posted April 2, 2001
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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 This report, the 12th installment in a series devoted to revolutionizing detention programs and practices in America, tells the stories of two initiatives: The success of a local effort to make smarter decisions about reducing detention center populations and the unequivocal failure of a subsequent drive to expand those achievements statewide. Paired together, these opposing outcomes serve as a cautionary tale—and underscore the unique obstacles and opportunities associated with multi-site reform.  

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Identifying the reasons the Broward Detention Initiative succeeded

Three reasons that the Broward Detention Initiative succeeded in reducing detention center populations: 1) key leaders from multiple agencies were involved in the initiative’s planning and development process; 2) baseline data established a clear starting point — including initial practices and problem areas; and 3) the timing was right; a federal lawsuit jumpstarted reform efforts and focused all parties on resolving overcrowding concerns.