2010 Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

Bureau of Youth Services & Delinquency Prevention
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services

Program Description


Counties that have juvenile offenders ages 10 and older that are at risk of placement into secure detention.


The goal of IJDAI is to ensure the safe custody of those youth who pose a clear threat to personal safety and to prevent the inappropriate and unnecessary use of secured detention for youth that do not pose a threat to public safety or are at risk of not making their court appearance date.


The JDAI promotes changes to policies, practices and programs to reduce reliance on secure confinement, improve public safety, reduce racial disparities and biases, save taxpayers' dollars, and stimulate overall juvenile justice reforms. Thirty six counties downstate have formally engaged in structured support for juvenile justice system review and reform since year 2000. Cook County is regarded as a national model JDAI site.

Delivery Method

The Illinois JDAI counties provide technical assistance and training to reform interested jurisdictions who commit to undertake systemic work in eight interrelated areas: governance and collaboration, data-driven decision-making, objective detention screening, development of community-based detention alternatives, expedited case processing, addressing special detention cases, attention to racial, ethnic and gender disparities and improving conditions of confinement.

Program Data

Performance Indicators SFY07 SFY08 SFY09 SFY10
Expenditure Amount (Numbers in 000's) $30.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0
Number of Sites without JDAI Funds 13 13 13 13
Number of Sites with JDAI Funds 1 0 0 0

Program Accomplishments

  • A total of 36 counties have engaged in IJDAI guided juvenile justice system reforms.
  • Technical assistance requests were responded to with site visits to the Chief or Presiding Judge and members of the local stakeholders.
  • IJDAI Systems Reform presentations were conducted at several local or regional juvenile justice conferences.
  • Representatives received training from various county/circuit judicial systems directly from the Annie E. Casey Foundation at their Annual JDAI Conference and Training.