Reducing Juvenile Detention
Ramsey County reduced the number of admissions to juvenile detention by 75%.
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative
In 2005, The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners agreed to adopt the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) as a strategy for combating disproportionate minority contact within the juvenile justice system. JDAI is a nationally recognized, evidence-based reform project launched in 1992 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The mission of JDAI is to improve public safety and long-term outcomes for juveniles by:
• Reducing the number of juveniles in secure detention.
• Eliminating the disproportionate representation of juveniles of color in secure detention.
• Achieving systematic reform of juvenile detention practices.
• Developing appropriate and effective detention alternatives for juveniles who should not be held in secure detention.
JDAI uses collaborative partners from different systems to review data and analyze decision-making that influences juvenile contact and overall system involvement. This format has been successful in significantly reducing detention admissions since 2005 by 75 percent. However, racial disparities continue to exist within the juvenile justice system and youth of color represent a significant majority of secure detention admissions, at 89 percent.