Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) was designed to support the Casey Foundation’s vision that all youth involved in the juvenile justice system have opportunities to develop into healthy, productive adults.

After more than 15 years of innovation and replication, JDAI is one of the nation’s most effective, influential, and widespread juvenile justice system reform initiatives.

JDAI focuses on the juvenile detention component of the juvenile justice system because youth are often unnecessarily or inappropriately detained at great expense, with long-lasting negative consequences for both public safety and youth development.

JDAI promotes changes to policies, practices, and programs to:

  • reduce reliance on secure confinement;
  • improve public safety;
  • reduce racial disparities and bias;
  • save taxpayers’ dollars; and
  • stimulate overall juvenile justice reforms

Since its inception in 1992, JDAI has repeatedly demonstrated that jurisdictions can safely reduce reliance on secure detention. There are now approximately 100 JDAI sites in 24 states and the District of Columbia.

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