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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to reveal the answer to one of 10 questions frequently asked about the DRAI or the DRAI process.


Q1. What is the purpose of the DRAI?

The purpose of the DRAI is to determine the most appropriate placement for youth upon arrest. Its scoring algorithm is designed to assess the likelihood the youth will fail to appear in court or commit a new offense within a short window of time. Youth taken into custody (arrested) by law enforcement are screened by the Department’s detention screening staff using the DRAI to determine whether a youth should be detained in a secure detention facility prior to their detention hearing, placed on supervised release (community-based detention status), or released without any additional supervision. Youth appear before the court within 24 hours of being taken into custody, at which time the juvenile judge determines whether there is a need for continued detention supervision. The DRAI is based on the latest data and research and is used in the same manner throughout the State.


Q2. How does the DRAI get approved?

DRAI approval is a function of the statutorily mandated DRAI Committee. Details about the DRAI Committee can be found by clicking on the DRAI Committee puzzle piece on the first page of this website. The Department cannot make any changes to the instrument without the approval of the DRAI Committee.

Q3. Does the demographic information on the first page of the instrument affect the outcome?

No. The information on the first page of the instrument does not affect the outcome. The risk assessment score and the application of policy/statute override included in the instrument determine the outcome.

Q4. How does the Risk Assessment (scoring) page work?

Screeners identify the factors applicable to the youth in each section and assess the highest point value applicable to the youth. Only one-point value can be selected in each of the five sections. The scores from each of the sections are totaled. The total score determines the level of detention care provided pending the youth’s initial hearing.

Q5. How is the determination of violence made?

The term violence is not defined in Florida Statutes. The Department’s adopted definition of violent is “an actual or threat of physical harm to a person where there was a reasonable probability of physical harm”. Each year, statutes are reviewed to determine if they meet the Department’s definition. All those that meet the definition are added to the Department’s Violent Offense List. A copy of the latest Violent Offense List can be found on our website:
Violent Offense List

Q6. The DRAI gives 10 points for youth presented for five or more burglary offenses at once. Does it matter if the five burglary offenses are on same affidavit or on different affidavits?

No. It does not matter if the burglary offenses differ in type or are found across multiple affidavits. As long as they are all presented together at the time of screening, a score of 10 will be applied in the first section of the Risk Assessment page.

Q7. What constitutes a Failure to Appear (FTA)?

Screeners can only use information in the Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS). This means only orders that have been issued by the court and processed through screening can be counted.

Q8. Why does the DRAI use the legal status at the time of the screening?

The DRAI is designed to determine the likelihood of receiving a new offense or failing to appear for a court hearing within a short-time frame of the tools completion date. Although the youth’s legal status may have been different at the time of the offense, the DRAI’s task is to determine the youth risk level at the time of the screening. Using the current legal status is the only way to accurately assess the youth’s risk at the time of the screening.

Q9. How does the State Attorney Review/Decision section work?

If a screener has objective information that indicates the youth’s supervision status should be modified one level, he/she must contact the state attorney. If the state attorney agrees that the screener’s findings warrant a placement modification, the screener will indicate the placement modification on the instrument. The name of the attorney spoken to and the reasons for the modification must be documented on the instrument.

Q10. When will the Department produce the 1st DRAI reports?

The Department commits to producing at least one report each year that includes a look at DRAI outcomes, decision point modifications, and recidivism outcomes. The first of those reports, based on the first 6 months of data, are available on this Data and Reports page.

Q11. How can circuits reduce the number of youth admitted to secure detention for failures to appear?

One way is to implement a differential warrant process.

Differential Warrant Overview

Still have questions? Contact:

Minnora Bishop

DRAI Statewide Coordinator

(850) 717-2709