Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is a 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.
The next working group meeting will be on May 14 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Association of Counties conference room, located at 1415 W. 3rd Street, Little Rock. We will have two guest speakers. Judge Paula Juels Jones will share her experience starting and maintaining the North Little Rock Teen Court program over the past ten years. Zoretta Sanders will also share her efforts to begin a Restorative Justice Teen Court at McClellan High School. Mark your calendars and join us. Also, please bring a friend too!
Materials for the next meeting:
JDAIconnect Sign-up Info
Juvenile Justice System Assessment Study
Photos from the Kick-Off Meeting
Probation System Review Report
Dangers of Detention
Pulaski County Detention Screening Tool
Purpose of Detention Statement