This report — the ninth installment in a series devoted to revolutionizing detention programs and practices in America—focuses on three detention populations that can easily slip through the cracks during comprehensive reforms. It is packed with options and action steps for sites interested in creating a fairer, more efficient detention system forAmerica’s children (probation violators, post-adjudication detainees and youth with warrants included).
Sites who’ve been-there done-that share their lessons learned
Findings & Stats
As part of their quest to create a fairer, more efficient detention system for all of America’s youth, Annie E. Casey experts have identified three groups that need special treatment and solutions. They are: 1) minors with warrants; 2) juveniles who’ve violated the terms of their probation; and 3) adolescents who are detained post-adjudication.
Interested in enhancing how your system handles special detention cases? This report is your cheat sheet for getting it right. It includes three tables — one for each case type identified — that list common hurdles and corresponding solutions that sites may encounter when rolling out reforms.
Minors With Warrants
When JDAI sites set out to improve how their systems handled juvenile warrant cases, their roadmaps to reform included six actions: 1) analyze the current caseload; 2) ensure that these individuals didn’t skip the risk screening process; 3) recognize that not all warrants are equal; 4) provide appropriate alternatives to detention; 5) clear the backlog of invalid warrants; and 6) boost the chances of minors showing up for their court dates as scheduled.
A Simple Fix
Detention reform isn’t always complicated. One easy way to stop detaining low-risk minors who have committed a technical probation violation: Adopt a no-detention policy for these youth.
Reducing Wait Times
Automated systems, streamlined forms and adequate administrative support can work wonders in eliminating unnecessary detention delays and tightening the wait window between adjudication and disposition. Another option? Fast tracking juvenile court dispositions.
Juveniles can languish in detention while awaiting a court-ordered placement. Sites can address this by establishing time limits for both pre- and post-disposition stays in detention.
Statements & Quotations
Detention admissions for juveniles with warrants constituted 20% or more of all admissions in the three JDAI jurisdictions.
When a time limit for detention pending disposition is not established by state law, one should be adopted as a matter of local policy.
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