Eleven counties have joined the original eight participating in Indiana’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Monday. The expansion will extend JDAI services to 56 percent of juveniles from 10 to 17 years old.
Funding approved by the Legislature of $5.5 million for two years will enable the following counties to offer alternatives to detention: Allen, Bartholomew, Boone, Delaware, Henry, LaGrange, LaPorte, Madison, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh and Wayne.
The program, first offered in Marion County in 2006, also is offered in Clark, Elkhart, Howard, Johnson, Lake, Porter and Tippecanoe counties.
JDAI is a national juvenile justice reform initiative developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation 20 years ago. It aims to improve outcomes for children in the justice system while ensuring public safety. It operates under the theory that sometimes children in trouble need secure detention, but other times there are alternatives.
In Indiana, JDAI is overseen by an executive team with representatives of four state organizations: the Criminal Justice Institute, the Supreme Court, the Department of Correction, and the Department of Child Services.