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National juvenile justice program growing in Indiana

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Four more counties are being added to Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative in June, the first step to a significant expansion of the program within Indiana.

Delaware, Wayne, Madison and Henry counties are the first of 11 new counties to join the program this year in Indiana. In the fall, Allen, Bartholomew, Boone, LaGrange, LaPorte, Monroe and St. Joseph counties are expected to start JDAI programs.

Indiana had eight counties with JDAI programs. Once the expansion of the program is completed by the end of 2014, 19 Indiana counties will have a JDAI program and an estimated 56 percent of Indiana’s youth between the ages of 10 and 17 will live in a JDAI county.

Kick-off meetings will be held this week in Delaware (June 16), Wayne (June 18) and Madison (June 19) counties and next week in Henry County (June 27).

JDAI is a national juvenile justice reform program developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation 20 years ago. It works to improve outcomes for children in the justice system while ensuring public safety by offering alternatives to incarceration.

Marion County started the initiative in Indiana in 2006 and over the next few years, Johnson, Porter, Lake, Tippecanoe, Elkhart, Howard and Clark counties joined JDAI.

The current expansion is being fueled by a $5.5 million appropriation from the Indiana Legislature that was announced in 2013 and is being spread over a two-year period.

In Indiana, JDAI is overseen by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, the Indiana Supreme Court, the Indiana Department of Correction and the Indiana Department of Child Services.

 

 

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