U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Two Decades of JDAI: From Demonstration Project to National Standard

NCJ Number
Richard A. Mendel
Date Published
37 pages
This document reports on the progress and success of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI).
Major findings in this report regarding the progress of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) include: the JDAI model has spread rapidly in recent years and can be found in 110 local jurisdictions in 27 States and the District of Columbia, reaching a substantial portion of U.S. youth; participating jurisdictions have considerably reduced their reliance on secure detention for youth as a result of the JDAI; use of the JDAI has reduced detention populations in ways that enhance and protect public safety; by reducing the costs for construction and operation of secure detention facilities, the JDAI has generated substantial savings for taxpayers; the JDAI has played a significant role in analyzing and addressing racial disparities for detained youth; and the JDAI has become an effective medium for broader reforms in juvenile justice, with many jurisdictions pursuing important and overdue juvenile justice reforms. This report is divided into six sections that discuss these findings in more detail. Figures and endnotes