The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is one of the nation’s most effective juvenile justice system reform efforts. One major goal of JDAI is to keep juvenile offenders out of locked detention by balancing public safety with alternatives to supervise low-risk juvenile offenders in the community. With help from a grant received from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Dakota County implemented its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative strategies in May 2008.
How the JDAI works
JDAI aims to decrease the number of juvenile offenders placed in secure detention and/ or who fail to appear in court or who re-offend pending their sentence by redirecting public funds toward effective juvenile justice processes and public safety strategies.
Before a juvenile offender can be detained, he/she is first screened using the Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI). The RAI is used to determine the appropriate level of care for a juvenile offender and evaluates a juvenile offenders risk to public safety and the risk that the juvenile offender will not appear in court.
If a juvenile offender is determined to be a risk to public safety, he/she is placed in secure detention. Other juvenile offenders may be placed in shelter care or placed on a global positioning systems (GPS) device. JDAI in Dakota County has led to significant reduction in the average daily population in the Juvenile Services Center.
For more information, contact Dakota County Community Corrections at 651-438-8399.