Research Paper: Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Innumerable

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[. . .] The present time demands community engagement to develop and implement effective reforms so that the personalities of the juveniles can be shaped in a positive manner. Concerning this serious issue, juvenile detention alternative initiative has become a significant part of the Foundation's Juvenile Justice Strategy Group with the core intention to work in collaboration with public agencies. Their prime motive is to bring innovative and effective reforms for the young adults of the country especially who are more exposed to the threat of entering juvenile justice systems or are experiencing the adverse outcomes of detention (Austin, Johnson & Weitzer, 2005).

The elevating crime rates not only impact the individual's life, but his entire families as well as the overall neighborhood and the community is also adversely affected by violent criminal actions. Maintaining public safety is one of the grave concerns in the today's time. Keeping this aspect on surface, juvenile detention alternative program is also developed so that it can provide the general population with a safe and secure environment, while focusing on the elimination of unnecessary detention that increases the probability of juvenile violent crime rates (Austin, Johnson & Weitzer, 2005).

The United States is a culturally diverse country that is full of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. However, the migrated ethnic people of different race are considered as the minority groups within the nation. From the records, it has also been observed that the minority people and young adults are at a greater risk of committing violent crimes due to the inequalities that they have to experience that result in detention by the juvenile justice system. This is another area of concentration of the juvenile alternative initiative, where they can address and reduce the disproportionate level of minority confinement in the juvenile justice system. Moreover, they also aim to provide the juveniles with a fair and equitable justice process, where no adolescent can be detained on the basis of inequality (Armour & Hammond, 2009).

Extensive investigations have highlighted the piece of information that a significant amount of cases for which young adults are detained are low risk rather than serious violent crimes. This demonstrates that low-risk cases are continuing to be prevalent for which they are being detained, and this detention is only creating a long-term negative impact on their personalities, which is becoming the leading cause of their violent behaviors and turning them into re-offender. Juvenile detention alternative initiation in this regard is playing a vital role, and continuing to act as a catalyst for the change that is needed with the detention populations as well as in the juvenile justice system (Armour & Hammond, 2009).

Where are Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative used?

The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is a countrywide recognized reform project that has been launched by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This program is implemented and operated in over 100 jurisdictions in more than 25 states across the United States as a best practice. Due to the widespread operations all over the nation, it has become the fastest growing approaches to juvenile justice reform. In fact, the growing popularity and its wide ranging objectives have made it one of the most effective initiatives that are working for the betterment of the juveniles and the entire community (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2007).

Evidence-based strategies are involved in the program with the goals to decrease the costly use of detention, support and encourage positive youth development, ensure public safety, and establish community-based responses. In order to effectively achieve the goals of the program, community and justice system stakeholders work in collaboration with one another (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013).

Juvenile detention alternative initiative is applied to various jurisdictions where increasing number of juveniles are found eligible to detention or are at a greater risk to the negative consequences of the detention. Through this program, support and opportunities to juveniles are offered so that they can develop into healthy and productive adults with positive personalities (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013).

Difference between Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative & Normal Juvenile Detention

Framework of strategies is provided by the juvenile detention alternative initiative focusing on the elimination of unnecessary use of secure juvenile detention and reduction of juvenile cases appeared in the court. The strategies equally focus on maintaining security of the community. Thirdly, appropriate attention is also drawn towards the diminution of the disparate use of detention for minority youth (Armour & Hammond, 2009). On a broad spectrum, juvenile detention alternative initiative (JDAI) is an innovative and effective approach that strives for providing benefits to the juveniles who get in problems due to law breaking activities. Indeed, it is also an effective approach because it facilitates in the reduction of overall costs that is used for placing the juveniles in detention (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2007).

On the other hand, the normal juvenile detention simply refers to the imprisonment or confinement of juveniles on a temporary basis. Detention cells are created for the juveniles because the law makers do not intend to keep the juveniles with general population in the incarceration, as it leads to utmost negative consequences on the young adults. Even though normal juvenile detention facilities are usually safer and more secure in comparison to the imprisonment, yet, these detention centers need improvement that can bring out much positive attitude from the juveniles during their stay of their detention (Roberts, 2004).

Access to counseling, mental as well as general health services, education, recreation, and occupational assistance to the occupant juveniles are not typically the characteristics of the normal juvenile detention cells. Even though the records elucidate that incarcerated juveniles get access to few of the community service programs and treatment methods, but, it only helps to come out of only the violent criminal activities (Roberts, 2004).

The major difference between the normal juvenile detention and juvenile detention alternative initiative (JDAI) is that normal juvenile detention focuses on the punishment for the crime, while JDAI focuses on the rehabilitation of the juveniles that can help them in shaping their personalities in a positive manner. This also signifies that the overall consequences of normal juvenile are rather harmful or negative and not beneficial for the juvenile, which is very different from that of JDAI (Roberts, 2004).


Armour, J. & Hammond, S. (2009). Minority Youth in the Juvenile Justice System - Disproportionate Minority Contact. National Conference of State Legislatures -- The Forum of America's Idea. Retrieved from:

Austin, J., Johnson, K.D. & Weitzer, R. (2005). Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juvenile Offenders. Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Retrieved from:

Holman, B. & Ziedenberg, J. (2013). The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities. Justice Policy Institute. Retrieved from:

Roberts, A.R. (2004). Juvenile Justice Sourcebook: Past, Present, and Future: Past, Present, and Future. USA: Oxford University Press.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2013). Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2013). Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative -- Core Strategies. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2007). JUVENILE DETENTION ALTERNATIVES INITIATIVE - A Successful Approach to Comprehensive Reform. The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Retrieved from: [END OF PREVIEW]

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Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Innumerable.  (2013, November 7).  Retrieved June 26, 2019, from

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"Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Innumerable."  7 November 2013.  Web.  26 June 2019. <>.

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"Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Innumerable."  November 7, 2013.  Accessed June 26, 2019.