Two Decades of JDAI

From Demonstration Project to National Standard

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

December 3, 2009


The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) started in the 1990s as a five-site demonstration project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to keep kids out of jail. By 2009, it operated in 110 local jurisdictions in 27 states. This report documents JDAI’s progress both in reforming juvenile detention practices nationwide and contributing to the larger, more comprehensive juvenile justice reform movement. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Decreasing detention through JDAI is making communities safer in the long-term.

Research shows that youth who spend time in custody are less likely to complete high school, less likely to find employment and less likely to be from stable families. They are also more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and be re-arrested.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations