Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)

The Orange County Probation Department participates in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative along with its juvenile justice stakeholders. JDAI is a proven method of assigning the least restrictive community-based rehabilitative alternatives for low-risk offenders who do not pose a risk to public safety.

JDAI also addresses ethnic and racial disparities in the juvenile justice system and disproportionate minority confinement in detention facilities. Emphasis is placed on gathering and applying data in decision making. This requires a tremendous collaborative effort with the Juvenile Court, corrections, law enforcement, schools, child welfare, prosecution, legal defense, and community representatives.

Probation Department employees at the Orange County Juvenile Hall use a Risk Assessment Instrument (RAI) to evaluate offenders when they are brought to the facility to determine whether they may benefit from a lower level of intervention or need to be held in secure detention.

An executive steering committee and subcommittees oversee the work that JDAI performs. A number of initiatives were implemented in 2009 to help young offenders and increase community-based detention alternatives. These include Youth Reporting Centers and the Disproportionate Minority Contact Initiative (DMC).

Orange County's JDAI  initiative is made possible through grant funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. More information about the work conducted by the foundation may be found at its web site, www.aecf.org. The JDAI Help Desk contains in-depth information about the JDAI initiative.

View a video on JDAI efforts nationwide below: