JDAI is a comprehensive system reform initiative that seeks to reduce unnecessary use of secure detention, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, redirect resources to more efficient and effective forms of supervision, improve conditions within secure detention facilities, all while continuing to ensure public safety. The objectives of JDAI are accomplished through adoption of the following eight core, interconnected strategies:
Baltimore City has been a JDAI site for more than 12 years. Under Secretary Sam Abed's leadership, the agency worked with its juvenile justice partners in 2011 to reset the JDAI efforts in the jurisdiction in order to appropriately align policy and practice reforms with new and emerging trends in detention utilization and juvenile crime. The success of the Baltimore City JDAI efforts, which includes a 29% reduction in the number of youth in secure detention on any given day, has encouraged new efforts to expand JDAI reforms to additional Maryland jurisdictions.
JDAI is not a program; it is a strategic process in which system agency leaders, line staff, child advocates and community partners work collaboratively to guide and monitor policy and practice reforms to achieve system improvements. This collaborative process requires consistent monitoring and coordination across the multiple partners. DJS established its Systems Reform Unit in 2011 to accomplish the coordinative needs of JDAI. The unit is comprised of a Director of System Reform Projects, local Detention Review Managers, and a team of Case Expediters who work directly with line staff across to operationalize implemented reforms.
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