Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI)

In 1992, as a step towards meeting its vision, The Annie E Casey Foundation established the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI).  Using detention as an entry point strategy, its primary target is overall juvenile justice system improvement.  Beginning with a handful of jurisdictions, the JDAI core strategies were proven to reduce unnecessary and inappropriate secure detention, reduce costs, increase system fairness and improve the juvenile justice system without compromising public safety.

In 2014 Mahoning County along with 7 other counties in Ohio collaborated with The Annie E Casey Foundation and the Ohio Department of Youth Services to launch JDAI.  As of 2017 the total number of JDAI counties in the state of Ohio has risen to total 11.  The vision for the future is to encourage community stakeholders who share in the belief that detention should be objective and only reserved for youth who pose the greatest risk to public safety to join us in our efforts to improve the lives of youth and families who enter the Mahoning County Juvenile Court.

JDAI 8 Core Strategies:
  • Collaboration
  • Use of accurate data
  • Objective detention admissions
  • Alternatives to detention
  • Case processing reforms
  • Reducing the use of unnecessary confinements
  • Deliberate commitment to reducing racial disparity
  • Improving conditions of confinement