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In conjunction with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Department has implemented the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) to support the vision that all juvenile justice involved youth will have opportunities to develop into healthy, productive adults. Applying JDAI core strategies and decision making based on data-driven policies and practices will establish system accountability to reduce secure detention placements, and promote long-lasting productive outcomes for youth development and public safety.
JDAI is a detention reform and juvenile justice system improvement initiative launched in 1992 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in urban and rural jurisdictions. JDAI demonstrates that moving low-risk youth from secure detention into community-based alternative programs is an effective public policy.
JDAI establishes outstanding public safety outcomes, minimizes detention over-crowding, and creates savings for taxpayers by reducing secure detention placements and the need for more expensive facilities. It improves efficiencies in juvenile justice system operations and produces better outcomes for youth and their families.
Yes, several of the JDAI Core Strategies focus on detention; however as a process, JDAI is not a “get out of jail” card. The very fabric of JDAI surrounds the use of the detention, and using the framework to identify trends of the use of detention, can provide an insight of areas of improvement. When discussing the use of detention, the local collaborative should be focused on leveling the playing field so that similarly situated youth, are treated similarly.
When used to the fidelity of the model, the local collaborative should be able to safely develop alternatives to detention. (See Alternatives to Detention Core Strategy, and access JDAIhelpdesk.org for Pathways # 4 for additional information)
Working in the system provides stakeholders with an intimate view on these possible trends, however, these trends are often identified through our professional looking glass. We each have a unique view on what is going on within the system, however, it is not a complete picture.
JDAI allows us to use high level data to identify areas of improvement, while the local collaborative digs deeper to explain why the data present accordingly. Once these areas have been identified by using the data, JDAI provides a framework in working through the model. (See JDAI Core Strategy Framework)
The great thing about JDAI is that is has been around for years, and is used in over 300 jurisdictions. Having all of those jurisdictions successfully using JDAI, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has created a help desk which provides best practices which have been used across the JDAI network. These best practices span all of the core strategies, and can provide assistance with solutions. Chances are the trends and areas of improvement are not unique to Florida.
See JDAIHelpdesk.org for more information on best practices. Also be sure to utilize your JDAI Coordinator as they are JDAI EXPERTS.
© 2012 Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
2737 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3100