Current Work Plans and Goals
With the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Massachusetts Juvenile Justice leaders, we have set several high-level strategic objectives for JDAI.

Building Alternatives to Detention
The Massachusetts Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Committee has worked in partnership with each of the local county JDAI committees to design a new resource to assist those in the courtroom access available local alternatives to detention.

8th Annual JDAI Statewide Conference
JDAI Massachusetts is thrilled to announce our Keynote Speaker will be Nate Balis, Director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group for the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Police Partnerships
Police Officers and Police Departments are often the first access point to the justice system.  An arrest can send a young person down a path which pushes them deeper and deeper into the justice system.  JDAI partners with police to improve outcomes for all of our youth and our communities. 

Schools Pathways into the Juvenile Justice System
Schools represent an important part of every young person’s life.  While the Massachusetts education system that is frequently ranked top in the nation and we have much to be proud of, we know that there is still work to do in order to assure that all youth in the Commonwealth are successful in school and in the world beyond. 

Involving Families
Families are the backbone of the youth which the system is trying to serve.  Encouraging and incorporating family involvement at every step of the juvenile justice system would improve outcomes for youth. 

Research and Policy Briefs
The adolescent time period is known to be a time of significant brain development.  New scientific research on adolescents themselves, and on working with adolescents, provides many opportunities to “check-in” on whether our policies and practices are aligned with the best science of our time.  The JDAI Research and Policy Series were developed to compile and digest the latest research, and to support evidence based best practices in working with youth in the community and in the justice system.


Since its inception in 2006, JDAI in Massachusetts has achieved various impressive results including increasing use of data, measurement and evaluation and developing a method and creating community-based alternatives to detention.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities (R.E.D)
Using specific strategies aimed at eliminating bias and ensuring a level playing field for youth of color is important. More information on ways JDAI is involved in reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities, coming soon.

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

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