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What is the DRAI

What is the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI)?

The purpose of the DRAI is to determine the most appropriate placement for youth upon arrest. 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.

F.S. 985.245 Risk Assessment Instrument. – (1) All determinations and court orders regarding placement of a child into detention care shall comply with all requirements and criteria provided in this part and shall be based on a risk assessment of the child, unless the child is placed into detention care as provided in s. 985.255(2).

The Detention Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) was developed by the Department in partnership with representatives appointed by the Conference of Circuit Judges, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Public Defenders Association, the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and the Florida Association of Chiefs of Police. Initially, the DRAI was conducted manually. In 2006, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) State Advisory Group approved funding to automate the DRAI to increase scoring accuracy, provide data for cost calculations, provide data for policy decisions, and reduce screening time. Beginning in mid-December, 2017, the DRAI Committee met four times to evaluate and approve and approve the implementation of a new DRAI utilizing comprehensive data and research completed by a national juvenile justice research team. The new DRAI will become effective July 1, 2019.


Here is a look at the instrument resulting from that process:




Where does the DRAI fit into the Court Case Flow Process?


Select this link for information on the DRAI process

Here are some other materials that can help with your understanding of the DRAI Process:

For more information, contact:

Minnora Bishop

DRAI Statewide Coordinator

(850) 717-2709