Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Expands Across The State

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Expands Across The State

December 10, 2013 Updated Dec 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM EDT

INDIANA (21Alive) -- Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) will include nineteen counties as the initiative expands across the state. Eleven counties will join the eight current JDAI counties thanks to a partnership of all three branches of government.

With $5,500,000 (over two years) in state funding appropriated by the legislature, the following counties will become JDAI sites; Allen, Bartholomew, Boone, Delaware, Henry, LaGrange, LaPorte, Madison, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh, and Wayne.

JDAI is a national juvenile justice reform initiative developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation 20 years ago. It aims to improve outcomes for children in the justice system while ensuring public safety. Sometimes children in trouble need secure detention, but other times there are alternatives.

JDAI began in Indiana in 2006 in Marion County with the goal of placing the right children in the right place for the right reasons and the right amount of time. Over the next few years Johnson, Porter, Lake, Tippecanoe, Elkhart, Howard and Clark Counties joined the initiative. With the upcoming expansion, as many as 56% of Indiana’s youth ages 10-17 will live in a JDAI county.

Within Indiana, JDAI is overseen by an executive team, four organizations that have a vested interest in the juvenile justice system: the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), and the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS).

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