On the Ground in Florida

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

JDAI is a network of juvenile justice practitioners and other system stakeholders across the country working to build a better and more equitable youth justice system. Learn more about what happens in a juvenile detention center and the importance of juvenile detention alternatives now!


A group of child advocacy and research organizations representing every state and using data to promote smart policies on issues ranging from child welfare and juvenile justice to education and economic opportunity. 

Lessons From Florida

Giving Former Prisoners Positive Returns

Read the story of Rodney Evans, a former addict who got his life back on track with help from Project RETURN, a support program for ex-prisoners. The Casey Foundation supports reentry work through programs, policies and practices that improve the employment prospects of former prisoners in an effort to reduce recidivism, increase public safety and improve outcomes for children and families affected by incarceration.

June 20, 2011

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Controlling the Front Gates

Effective Admission Policies and Practices

This report is packed with examples and suggestions to help jurisdictions to make fair, efficient and rational decisions about the detention center admission process. It is part of a series that shares lessons learned from a multi-year, multi-site project conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Called the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), the project aimed to do just what its name suggests: Identify more effective, efficient alternatives to juvenile detention.

April 1, 1999

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Detention Reform and Girls

Challenges and Solutions

This report examines the complex personal and social backdrop for girls in the delinquency system and looks at how girls are tracked at various key points in the juvenile justice process. By mapping how girls end up in the system, this report provides recommendations for gender-responsive detention reform.

January 1, 2005

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Overview: The JDAI Story

Building a Better Juvenile Detention System

Th is publication provides an overview of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), a multi-million dollar, five year, five-site experiment designed to streamline and rationalize local juvenile detention systems.

January 1, 1999

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Replicating Detention Reform

Lessons from the Florida Detention Initiative

This report compares two reform initiatives with nearly identical objectives yet drastically different final chapters. Readers will learn how officials successfully reduced local detention center populations and why a similar statewide effort failed just years later. Replicating Detention Reform is the 12th installment in a series devoted to identifying more effective, efficient alternatives to juvenile detention.     

April 1, 2001

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