Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

Since 2004, the Washoe County Department of Juvenile Services has been actively involved in the replication of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) through funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

The JDAI initiative seeks to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Eliminate the inappropriate or unnecessary use of secure detention;
  • Minimize re-arrest and failure-to-appear rates pending adjudication;
  • Ensure appropriate conditions of confinement in secure facilities;
  • Redirect public finances to sustain successful reforms; and
  • Reduce racial and ethnic disparities.

To accomplish these objectives, JDAI uses a set of strategies for achieving results.  The strategies include collaboration, use of accurate data, use of objective admissions criteria, new or enhanced alternatives to detention, case processing reforms, implementing new practices for responding to probation violations, reducing racial disparities, and improving conditions of confinement. 

The Department of Juvenile Services has made significant progress in creating viable alternatives to detention and implementing evidence based programming.  As a result, we have reduced the overuse of secure detention without sacrificing public safety.  Through collaborative efforts with community partners and under the guidance of our JDAI Stakeholders, systematic changes have been made.  Washoe County Juvenile Services has been recognized by the JDAI community for achieving a great deal of progress in a short amount of time.    

For more information on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and JDAI