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Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative 2011 Results Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2013
14 pages
This is the draft of the 2011 Annual Results Report of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), which is a nationwide effort of local and State juvenile justice systems to eliminate unnecessary and inappropriate use of secure detention for juveniles.
Initiated and funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the JDAI sites have substantially reduced reliance on secure detention. Sites report detaining 41 percent fewer youth on an average day in 2011 since implementing JDAI reforms. In the aggregate, sites detained just over 2,800 fewer youth on an average day. Admissions to detention were reduced by almost 55,000 youth. More than half of the reduction in detention admissions occurred among youth of color, who have historically been over-represented in secure detention across the United States. In addition, the commitment of youth to State custody has been reduced. Most stays in juvenile detention occur prior to the disposition of a youth's case by a juvenile court. These brief detentions are significantly associated in most jurisdictions with an increased risk for commitment to a longer term of confinement. In addition to reductions in juvenile confinement, JDAI sites experienced reductions in juvenile crime, regardless of the indicator used. Juvenile crime indicators in 2011 were down by an average of 32 percent from pre-JDAI levels. This is evidence that juvenile detention can be reduced without compromising public safety. Regarding improvement in reporting capacity, the JDAI sites provided data in 2011 on nearly every impact indicator, which reflects a stronger emphasis on data quality and timely reporting. 3 tables and 8 figures