Lancaster County Celebrates 10 Years of Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

(KFOR NEWS  July 1, 2021)   Lancaster County along with its community partners is celebrating 10 years of Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) and the success and momentum the program has gained over the years.

The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has demonstrated that jurisdictions can safely reduce the use of secure confinement without impacting public safety. JDAI is based on eight core strategies that address the reasons why youth are unnecessarily detained. The eight core strategies are:

  • Alternatives to detention
  • Case processing
  • Collaboration
  • Conditions of confinement
  • Data driven decisions
  • Objective admissions
  • Reducing racial disparity
  • Special detention cases

JDAI helps restructure policy and practice to create system improvements. The mission of JDAI is: To provide individualized supervision, care, and treatment in a manner consistent with public safety to those youth under age 18 at the time of referral who violate the law. Further, the Juvenile Justice System shall recognize and encourage prevention efforts through the support of programs and services designed to meet the needs of those youth who are identified as being at-risk or violating the law and those whose behavior is such that they endanger themselves or others.

In 2017, Lancaster County officially signed on as a Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) site. There is a large group of juvenile justice related community stakeholders that oversee juvenile justice efforts and funding opportunities in Lancaster County.

Lancaster County Commissioner Roma Amundson stated, “JDAI has changed the face of juvenile detention in Lancaster County and in Nebraska. It is creating positive impacts for the children and families we serve, and I couldn’t be more pleased to serve on the committee and work our team to further the JDAI goals.”

The public is invited to a presentation and short reception to follow on Thursday, July 8, 2021, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Malone Community Center located at 2032 U Street in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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