Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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13 Counties To Join Noteworthy Juvenile Justice Initiative

Thirteen counties will join Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) this year. The expansion is thanks to a partnership of all three branches of government including state funding which will allow Cass, Grant, Hamilton, Harrison, Hendricks, Owen, Pulaski, Ripley, Scott, Starke, Steuben, Wabash, and Whitley counties to become JDAI sites.

JDAI is a national juvenile justice reform initiative developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation which aims to improve outcomes for children in the justice system while ensuring public safety. Sometimes children in trouble need secure detention, but other times there are alternatives.

JDAI began in Indiana in 2006. With the expansion of the thirteen counties this year, JDAI will include thirty-two counties. JDAI and other juvenile reforms have allowed the Department of Correction to save over $15 million annually, and re-arrest rates have declined from 25% to 10% in JDAI counties.

Indiana JDAI is overseen by an executive team: the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC), the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), and the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA): Division of Mental Health and Addiction.