Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) isa nationally recognized model created by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to promote detention reform. The model will be implemented in Pulaski County under the leadership of the juvenile courts and the Office of the County Judge and County Attorney.
This initiative is an opportunity to improve the “front-end” of the juvenile justice system based on research and evidence-informed practices, as part of larger juvenile justice reforms in the County.
Pulaski County is the third JDAI site in Arkansas following Benton and Washington Counties. Since implementation, the number of youth committed to state custody in Benton and Washington Counties dropped by 30 and 25 percent respectively. Center for Children’s Law and Policy will provide technical assistance.
In June 2017, Pulaski County released the findings of its juvenile justice system assessment study performed by the CCLP. Using the JDAI framework, CCLP provided suggestions for areas of improvement including collaboration among stakeholders, data collection and analysis, case processing and alternatives to detention and incarceration programs.
CCLP also provided recommendations for the Pulaski County Juvenile Detention Center “conditions of confinement in facilities that house youth.” These recommendations included discontinuing the use of orange jumpsuits and the 24-hour lock down after admission. Shortly after reviewing the recommendations, the juvenile detention facility discontinued the 24-hour lock down and offers khaki pants and polo shirts as standard attire for those housed in the facility.
Please mark your calendars for the next JDAI working group meeting on March 8, from 1:00-3:00 p.m., in the Jeffery Hawkins Conference Room. Please share this information with a friend and invite them to attend the next meeting with you.