Provide training and technical assistance to JDAI sites in participating jurisdictions.

Publish and distribute a wide range of analyses and tools with information and how-to advice on detention reform, including: practice guides, “Pathways to Detention Reform” reports, issue briefs, start-up materials and assessment tools.

Fund four local model sites — Bernalillo County, N.M.; Cook County, Ill.; Multnomah County, Ore.; and Santa Cruz County, Calif. — and one state-level model site, New Jersey, to serve as learning laboratories for new sites.

Manage JDAIconnect, a virtual destination and online community for juvenile justice reformers to talk, find resources and learn. Membership is open to everyone interested in youth justice and free of charge.

Convene annual national JDAI conferences that serve to strengthen both detention reform strategies and the network of sites and practitioners active in the detention reform movement.

Visit JDAIconnect

The JDAI model is built around the following eight core strategies:

To help participating sites implement the JDAI model effectively and achieve success, the Casey Foundation employs a number of inter-connected strategies.  They include: direct technical assistance from Casey staff and consultants; opportunities to visit and learn from four local model JDAI sites; a vast array of publications on all aspects of detention reform, plus a dedicated online JDAI Help Desk; detailed materials and planning tools to guide local site teams, including an elaborate Starter Kit; and opportunity to participate in the annual JDAI Inter-Site Conference.

Increasingly in recent years, as the number of participating jurisdictions has mushroomed – straining the Foundation’s ability to provide needed assistance – Casey has been working with leaders in state government to enhance states’ capacity to promote and support JDAI local replication efforts.  In 2008, the Foundation named New Jersey as the first state-level model site, and since then a number of additional states have been building capacity and playing an ever-more central role in spreading the JDAI model.

View the Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform Series

Juvenile Detention Risk Assessment: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #1
Detention risk screening is a fundamental strategy used to evaluate youth and determine the need for secure, locked confinement. This is a practical guide for juvenile justice decision makers and includes specific recommendations on how to design, test and implement detention risk-screening instruments. 

Detention Facility Self-Assessment: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #2
This practice guide provides instructions on conducting a secure detention facility self-inspection as well as comprehensive detention standards and an assessment instrument. 

State-Level Detention Reform: A Practice Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #3
This is a “how-to” leadership guide designed for a highly specialized and specific audience: State juvenile justice advisory group members who advise and guide the implementation of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). 

Using Media Advocacy to Promote Detention Reform: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #4
This guide provides the tools for developing a well-timed and proactive media strategy, including tips and techniques for building relationships and pitching stories to reporters; strategies for developing compelling messages; and how to respond to the media in the context of a crisis. 

Making Detention Reform Work for Girls: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #5
Serving as a practical, how-to guide for jurisdictions, this report follows up on previous JDAI reports documenting the scope and nature of the different challenges and needs facing girls in the detention system.

Bernalillo County Mental Health Clinic Case Study: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #6
This report examines how one jurisdiction, Bernalillo County, N.M., has taken extraordinary steps to provide mental health treatment by ensuring Medicaid eligibility for detained youth and establishing a licensed, freestanding community mental health clinic adjacent to it detention facility.

Noncitizen Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #7
Readers will learn how to help ensure the safe and fair treatment of noncitizen youth in detention by adopting policies and procedures that are consistent with the goals of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI).

Embedding Detention Reform in State Statutes, Rules and Regulations: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #8
True to its title, this report aims to help jurisdictions embed the goals of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) into state law. It does this by pairing an expansive collection of policy excerpts with helpful tips and a tool for assessing existing strategies—allows sites to create a customized game plan for advancing the tenets of JDAI reform.

JDAI in New Jersey: A Guide to Juvenile Detention Reform #9
This report documents New Jersey’s success in replicating the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative model and highlights the importance of state leadership to progress. 

The JDAI 2014 Progress report reviews JDAI’s history, key elements and progress to date. 

JDAI in New Jersey identifies successful parts of the state's approach and draws lessons from which other jurisdictions may benefit. The 2013 Annual Results Report highlights data from all JDAI sites.

View all JDAI-related publications

From the Blog

David Muhammad, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

David Muhammad on Reinventing Juvenile Probation

In this episode of CaseyCast, Casey Foundation President and CEO Lisa Hamilton interviews juvenile probation expert David Muhammad. Their conversation explores the shortcomings of juvenile probation, the science of youth development and the supports that young people really need to thrive.

Read More

Casey has selected 15 juvenile justice agencies to participate in its inaugural Reimagining Juvenile Justice (RJJ) Train-the-Trainer Institute this May. The institute will accelerate the spread of the RJJ curriculum, a six-part professional development opportunity for frontline staff working with youth involved in the juvenile justice system and their families.

JDAI: A Model for Change

Working with Public Systems to Tackle Big Problems

The president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation writes about the importance of working with public systems to make changes that help thousands of kids.

from demonstration project to national standard

This report documents JDAI’s progress both in reforming juvenile detention practices nationwide and contributing to the larger, more comprehensive juvenile justice reform movement.

JDAI in New Jersey

This report documents New Jersey’s success in replicating the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative model and highlights the importance of state leadership to progress.