What is JDAI?

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is a national systems-reform initiative working to improve the detention component of the juvenile justice system..

Dangers of Detention in Juvenile Justice

The increased and unnecessary use of secure detention exposes troubled young people to an environment that more closely resembles adult prisons and jails than the kinds of community and family-based interventions proven to be most effective.

JDAI in Massachusetts  

In October of 2006, the Department of Youth Services of Massachusetts was chosen to participate in an initiative supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, known as the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI).

JDAI Data in Massachusetts

Partners involved in Massachusetts JDAI value using data to guide decision making. Use of accurate data, both to diagnose the system’s problems and proclivities and to assess the impact of various reforms, is critical. 

Current Initiatives in Massachusetts

There are several state-wide and regional initiatives. More information on these ongoing initiatives will be posted on this web page soon.

JDAI Structure in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a state-wide JDAI reform jurisdiction.  All of the work of JDAI is done under the Governance Committee which provides support and oversight to all JDAI subcommittees.  

JDAI Nationally

Each year, more than 2 million arrests are made of youth, resulting in approximately 300,000 to 600,000 admissions to secure detention. Of these children detained, two thirds are racial or ethnic minorities, arrested at rates that are out of proportion to the rate of their unlawful behavior. 

The Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) in Massachusetts works to ensure that “the right youth, is in the right place, for the right reason.”

This information is provided by the Massachusetts Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.