Two decades of juvenile justice reform have reduced youth detention, improved public safety and saved taxpayers millions of dollars.

Author:Gormsen, Lia
Position:Inter Alia
 
FREE EXCERPT

Two decades of juvenile justice reform have reduced youth detention, improved public safety and saved taxpayers millions of dollars, according to a new report released by the Annie C. Casey Foundation. The report, Two Decades of JDAI: From Demonstration Project to National Standard, documents the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative's (JDAI) progress both in reforming juvenile detention practices nationwide and also in contributing to the larger movement for more comprehensive reforms in juvenile justice.

Specifically, the report finds that the JDAI model has expanded rapidly in recent years, and now reaches a substantial portion of the U.S. youth population. Including new sites joining the initiative in August 2009, JDAI now operates in 110 local jurisdictions in 27 states and Washington, D.C. Sixty-one percent of young people in the U.S. reside in states where at least one locality is a JDAI site, and the number continues to grow at a rapid rate. Reducing detention is important for youths because research shows that youths who spend time in custody are less likely to complete high school, less likely to avoid re-arrest, less likely to find employment, and less likely to form stable families. They are also more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Placement in locked detention--particularly if it leads...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP