We remain engaged with the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), both statewide and in Essex County. This effort ensures that secure detention is only used in cases where such an intervention is necessary to protect public safety or ensure court appearance. Unnecessary juvenile detention is highly correlated with numerous negative life outcomes.
In Essex County, where the Institute has served as facilitator for the local JDAI, the use of detention has declined by more than 50%, from an average daily population of 244 in 2003 to 103 in 2009. We also contributed to the development of a Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI) which will render detention decisions more fact-based and uniform statewide.