We would like to share some information with you regarding the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiatives (JDAI) and its impact on the youth of Clark County, NV. The Department of Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS) mission statement describes an organization committed to community protection, restoring victims, holding juvenile offenders accountable, and promoting successful youth and families. To effectively achieve these goals, the issue of JDAI must be addressed in a manner that ultimately leads not only to a reduction in crime, but also toward equity within the juvenile justice continuum.
Effective implementation of JDAI is contingent upon philosophical commitment, development of sound policy and process, organizational prioritization, and adequate resources identification and allocation. Substantive interventions require adequate resources.
In collaboration with a broad group of community stakeholders and with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, we have undertaken a major initiative to tackle the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) of children of color in the juvenile justice system and to eliminate the inappropriate use of juvenile detention through the development of community-based alternatives.
The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) was launched in 1992 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The purpose of JDAI is to demonstrate that jurisdictions can establish more effective and efficient systems to accomplish the purposes of juvenile detention without jeopardizing community safety.
- To reduce the number of children unnecessarily or inappropriately detained
- To minimize the number of youth who fail to appear in Court or re-offend pending adjudication
- To redirect public funds toward successful reform strategies
- To ensure appropriate conditions of detention
- To reduce racial disparities and Disproportionate Minority Contact
The JDAI model focuses on eight Core Strategies:
- Interagency collaboration to improve planning and coordination;
- Use of accurate data to diagnose problems and measure change;
- Reliance on objective criteria and instruments to guide admission and sanctioning decisions;
- New or enhanced community-based alternatives to secure detention;
- Expedited case processing to reduce lengths of stay and speed the administration of justice;
- Practices and policies to eliminate racial disparities;
- Routine facility inspections and evaluations to improve conditions of confinement; and
- Innovations to reduce “special” detention cases (e.g. violations of probation).